Comelec says public to benefit from its proposed headquarters


Posted at Aug 08 2022 05:50 PM

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said the proposed construction of a new building for its offices and warehouse would benefit the public. 

Comelec Chairman George Garcia said the new building would allow the poll body to do away with paying about P70 to 75 million in rental fees. 

“If you’re going to total or summarize all the expenses incurred for purposes of leasing this property, it would cater indeed to the benefit of the public that the Comelec will build its own building rather than spend a lot of money for purposes of renting the different places,” Garcia told ANC. 

“Practically makakatipid nang sobra ang publiko,” he added.

(The public will be able to save a lot of money.)

The new Comelec office could be built at an unused 3-hectare property on Macapagal Avenue, he said. 

Garcia said housing all Comelec offices and facilities in one building would also help improve transparency and integrity.

“Will that benefit the public? Definitely surely. Because during the election lagi na lang kinkikuwestiyon, we cannot observe, we cannot watch whatever the Comelec is doing, so kung nasa iisang area lang po kami, nagagawa po namin lahat yung, at mae-ensure namin ang transparency,” he said.

(During the last elections, we were always questioned about how we supposedly cannot observe, watch whatever the Comelec is doing, so if we are in one area, we can work smoothly and ensure transparency) 

To boost the poll body’s transparency, Garcia also said he would support the push for a hybrid system of election.

A proposed law that sought to combine the old manual election system and the automated poll system "was set aside" during the 18th Congress because there wasn't enough time to pass it, he noted. 

“But next time that Congress will pursue with the hybrid system of election, definitely, at least personally, I will support that and I will try to convince the members of the commission, the other commissioners, the en banc that we should like support this system because this ensures greater transparency,” Garcia said. 

“Hindi lang po sapat na nata-transmit natin na mabilis ang result, dapat yung natatransmit natin ay accurate and the people can really see that their votes are being counted,” he added.

(It's not enough that results are transmitted quickly, it must also be accurate and the people can really see that their votes are being counted.)

— ANC, 8 August 2022