Imee defers Comelec budget hearing

Senator Imee Marcos on Monday deferred the Senate’s finance panel’s budget deliberation of the Commission on Elections for the fiscal year 2023 due to the agency’s failure to provide necessary documents for the hearing.

During the budget deliberation, Marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation, slammed the Comelec for its failure to provide the data needed for the additional funding it has been requesting for the conduct of the October 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

“I have not received the budget of the barangay, SK elections for October 2023. I have not received the slides regarding payment of our (poll) workers, regarding the OFW, and certain other issues that I requested,” she said.

“Nothing has been submitted, except the old PowerPoint that is unresponsive to the queries of most of my colleagues in the Senate,” she added.

In response, Comelec chair George Garcia vowed to submit all the necessary documents sought by lawmakers by Monday afternoon.

Marcos also called the poll body’s request for an additional allotment of P10 billion for next year’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan “outlandish” and an “outrageous demand.”

At a press conference after the deferred budget hearing, Marcos explained that she does not believe that the poll body would need to spend the said amount of money for the elections next year.

“They are still insisting that they are in need of an additional P10 billion on top of the P8.4 billion they already have,” she said.

“Where have you heard of an election for barangay and SK that would cost almost P19 billion? More expensive than the presidential election,” she added.

The lady lawmaker stressed that based on her calculation, the poll body would just need at least P1 billion for the conduct of the October 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Last week, the senator’s brother, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed the measure seeking to postpone December 2022’s Barangay and SK elections to October 2023.

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