Comelec to reshuffle field directors, personnel

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2015 04:34 PM | Updated as of Sep 29 2015 12:34 AM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) confirmed Monday that they will be reshuffling regional directors and field personnel in time for the 2016 elections.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez told reporters that the en banc has started discussions this week to evaluate which of their officials and personnel will be reassigned to other areas for next year's polls.

"It is one of the best practices to make sure that field officials are not cozy with local political players, to avoid any appearance of collusion," he said.

Jimenez said the reshuffle may not end with their personnel on the field. "The whole organizational structure of the Comelec is being reviewed, which means that no one is 'unreshufflable,'" he said.

"For other levels, increased efficiency yan. Also there have been some retirements in between elections and for the most part, some have been placed in an acting capacity. Itong opportunity na 'to, gagamitin na rin para masettle na rin ang mga issues na yan."

Jimenez said the en banc is also looking at assigning a commissioner in charge (CIC) of regions to expedite decision making on election issues in the regional level.

He said that normally, the field officer elevates local issues to the 7-member en banc for decision, which would take a long time.

"Kung may regional CIC ka, then it goes to the CIC, the CIC decides subject to confirmation by the banc," Jimenez explained.

"You have a CIC who is very well aware of the situation, who is steeped in the dynamics of the region able to make a very rapid decision."

The Comelec spokesman said that rather than having a single commissioner in charge for regions, the en banc is studying the possibility of assigning regional clusters to the commissioners, much like during the time of then Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos.