(PN File Photo)

Kakailanganin ng Commission on Elections (COMELEC) ang karagdagang P5 bilyong pondo para sa mga poll workers, presinto, at election supplies para sa mga botante na hahabol magparehistro dahil na rin sa pagpapaliban ng Barangay at Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

Sa isinagawang pagdinig ng Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms ng kongreso kahapon, August 16, ay inamin ni COMELEC chair George Garcia ang pangangailangan ng ahensya para sa nasabing pondo.

“If we postpone it to March or December 2023, we will have to continue registration of new voters. This will mean additional voters, additional ballots, additional teachers [as poll workers], additional precincts, additional election paraphernalia,” ayon kay Garcia.

Ang P5 bilyong kakailanganing pondo ay karagdagan sa P8.4 bilyong budget ng COMELEC para sa BSKE.

Una nang sinabi ni Garcia na kanila nang nagamit ang maliit na bahagi mula sa P8.4 bilyong pondo bagama’t hindi naman ito masasayang dahil maaari pang gamitin ang mga pinagkagastusan ng pondo sakaling ipagpaliban ang BSKE.

“The public has nothing to worry with regard to any wastage of the people’s money. Why? Because, if we buy a ballpen, that’s the same ballpen we’ll use in the event of a reset,” pahayag ni Garcia sa advisory na inilabas ng Comelec noong Lunes, August 15.

Apela naman ng COMELEC na huwag nang paabutin ng 2024 ang BSKE upang hindi ito makaabala sa kanilang paghahanda 2025 Midterm Elections na nakatakda sa Mayo ng nasabing taon.

“We at the Comelec, we will just abide by the mandate of Congress and the Executive as far as postponing the election is concerned, whether it be May of 2023, December of 2023, and not in 2024 because by that time, we will be preparing for the 2025 elections,” pahayag ni Garcia.


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