MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration wants the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to scrap existing voters' lists and conduct a general re-registration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Budget Secretary Butch Abad said around P400 million will be set aside for the cleansing of the ARMM voters lists.
The region has been known for wholesale poll fraud and bloated voters' lists.
Comelec Cairman Sixto Brillantes said a general re-registration in the ARMM will be very difficult, but this can be done.
The general registration must be completed by the end of the year, so the Comelec can start with the printing of ballots in January 2013.
There are currently around 1.7 million registered voters in the 5 provinces under the ARMM.
Brillantes believes that the current voters list for the region is bloated by about 200,000.
"Let me say very candidly it will be very difficult to annul the list of voters in 5 provinces of ARMM," he said. "This is what I told the President in a meeting this morning. There will be no problem with the funding, then we will just concentrate on the timeline involving 1.7 million voters, meaning we shall be ready to start printing the ballots for 2013."
"We now have to mobilize, augment people in the ARMM, buy biometric machines. We have to buy additional [machines]. We cannot take out biometric machines in other areas. We need to buy new ones, then we'll work out in registration, 10 to 15 days only," Brillantes said. - ANC