Comelec needs budget to build own HQ: poll chief
MANILA — Poll chief George Garcia is asking Congress to allot a budget for the construction of the Commission on Elections own headquarters.
"Kami po'y naninik-luhod sa ating Kongreso na kahit kakarampot lang [na pondo] ay makapagsimula na kaming makapagtayo ng aming sariling building," Garcia told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo on Friday.
(We're pleading with Congress to give us even a minuscule budget to put up our own building.)
The Comelec has been leasing several offices in Manila for their operations, which means a higher rental cost for the agency.
His request comes after the Comelec's IT office at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila caught fire and raised concerns about the security of the electorate's data.
Garcia said the Comelec had acquired land from the Public Estates Authority where its planned headquarters will be constructed.
The area is near the Baclaran Church in Parañaque City and was purchased during the time of then-Comelec chief Sixto Brillantes.
The poll official said Comelec already has a building plan and financial analysis done many years ago.
The 3-hectare headquarters will be a "green building," Garcia said. It will serve as a command center during elections and filing of certificates of candidacy. Even presidential and vice-presidential debates will be held there, he added.
Garcia pointed out that other constitutional bodies — Commission on Audit, Civil Service Commission, and Commission on Human Rights — have their own offices.
"Kahit abutin siya ng 10 taon, kahit matapos na ang termino ko... ang importante may nasimulan," Garcia said.
"Sapagkat ito po'y legacy di lamang ng present administration ito po'y legacy para sa commission."
(Even if it will take 10 years to construct, even my term ends, what's important is that something was started because this is not just the legacy of the present administration but the legacy of the commission.)
—TeleRadyo August 5, 2022