Senate committee approves Comelec budget

The Commission on Elections on Thursday welcomed the Senate’s approval of their P5.2-billion budget for 2023 and expressed appreciation to the Senate Committee on Finance for approving the budget and assured the public of efficiency in conducting future polls with the approved budget.

“With this budget, we will be able to bring the elections and other electoral processes closer to the people, with more efficiency and effectiveness, drumming up innovation one after the other to strengthen our democracy,” said the Comelec.

However, the poll body revealed that it lowered their proposed budget for the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to P2.765 billion
— a 27 percent decrease from the P10 billion it originally proposed.

During a budget deliberation before the Senate Committee on Finance, Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia said that they have lowered the proposal following estimations that led to a higher number of voters per precinct and shorter voting times.

Garcia also said that they are retaining the previous honoraria for electoral board members as part of the budget decrease.

“We really have to stick to the previous honoraria received by our electoral board members,” Garcia said.

To recall, the poll body originally allocated P8.5 billion for the Barangay and SK elections on 5 December 2022.

“As far as the Comelec is concerned, we prepared fully, but as of 10 October 2022, we slowed down the preparation because of the law assigned to the President. There is no material time on the part of the Commission to conduct the election by 5 December,” Garcia said.

“We will proceed with the procurement and printing of the ballots later in relation to the October 2023 elections,” he added.

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