Comelec needs more funds for barangay elections

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2016 04:51 PM

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista

MANILA - The Commission on Elections has set July 15-31, 2016 as the schedule for registration for the October 31 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections.

"Ang gusto nating i-target, yung mga na-deactivate, dahil hindi sila bumoto ng dalawang succeeding elections," Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said. "Pangalawa yung mga hindi nakahabol sa no bio, no boto. Pangatlo yung mga 15-17 year old voters, na pwedeng bumoto sa SK."

Bautista said that poll body is now busy finalizing the timeline of preparations for the barangay elections. The Comelec has also started with the bidding for needed supplies and equipment. This includes over P642 million for 233,500 ballot boxes, P178.7 million for various supplies and P31.3 million for election forms.

The poll chief said the Comelec estimates the October 31 elections will cost around P5 billion to P6 billion, higher than the P1 billion earmarked for the barangay polls. Bautista said they will be asking for a supplemental budget from Congress.

"Ang issue ngayon is yun ding diba merong pinasang batas na inaakyat yung honorarya na ibibigay sa ating poll workers. So yung mangangailangan ng supplemental budget na aming hihingin sa kongreso pag sila ay nag-session," he said.

However, should a proposed Constitutional Convention push through on 2017, Bautista said it would be more practical to merge the conduct of the Barangay and SK elections as well as the election of delegates to the ConCon. "Unang una, dahil ba diyan, dapat ba natin ipagpaliban yung barangay at SK elections kasi kung may elections tayo ng October tapos may elections ng Enero, parang masyado namang maikli yung pagitan kung kaya't dapat siguro ipagsama na lang at tayo'y makakatipid ng mag 5-6 bilyon," he said.

The poll chief however clarified that a law would be needed to merge the two elections.