Comelec assures readiness to hold Cha-cha plebiscite

March 1, 2024 Jester P. Manalastas 155 views

COMMISSION on Elections chairman George Erwin Garcia on Thursday assured the public that the Comelec is prepared to conduct the plebiscite on economic Charter change whether it be held separately from or jointly with the 2025 midterm elections.

Garcia made the statement during his visit at the House of Representatives (HRep) where the Comelec’s Register Anywhere Program (RAP) is ongoing. Another RAP event is slated on March 21 at HRep from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Kami po naman kung anong ipag-uutos talaga. Yun ang katotohanan. Kung anong sabihin ng Kongreso at mapagkasunduan ng Senate at House na dapat isabay (ang plebiscite at midterm elections ay) handang handa po ang Comelec. Yun po, walang gastos na dagdag yun. Sapagkat pahahabain lang ng konti yung balota. Kaya lang ang sabi din po natin magandang mapag-aralan din sapagkat maganda rin na doon lang naka-focus itong mga kababayan natin sa issue ng pagbabago sa Saligang Batas. Saligang Batas kasi yan eh di naman ordinaryong batas din yan. Therefore, nandun din ang legal issue na huwag isabay. Basta kami handang handa po ang inyong Komisyon whether separate siya o isabay, handa po kaming isagawa ang plebisito,” Garcia said.

He declined to comment about the economic Charter change being pushed both in the House of Representatives’ Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 7 and the Senate’s RBH No. 6, stating that the matter is better left to the discretion and wisdom of Congress, especially that lawmakers are the ones given the power to amend the Constitution through a constituent assembly.

He thanked the House for its support for the RAP, to the point of allotting a big space for the registration at the Belmonte Hall.

As of Feb. 28, Garcia said about 750,000 have registered under the RAP since Feb. 12.

“Nakakatuwa po, napakainit ng pagtanggap ng mga kababayan natin dito sa registration na ginagawa natin, at sabi nga nung unang araw, ang inyong lingkod pumunta sa PAG-ASA Island at sa mga susunod na araw pupuntahan natin ang Camp Garapanan, Camp Abubakar, yun ang mga areas natin na talaga naman di mo halos napupuntahan pero ito po ipapakita natin na kahit saang parte ng Pilipinas pwede kang magpa rehistro dahil isang Pilipino, isang boto, isang registration,” he said.

He also announced that those working within the vicinity of the Batasan Complex like the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other government agencies can register at the House.

With Garcia during his visit at the House for the RAP monitoring was Comelec director for the National Capital Region Jubil Surmieda.

They came from the Meralco office as they wanted the entire Meralco organization to be able to register.

From the House, they proceeded to the Social Security System then to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Garcia also shared that the Comelec has conducted the RAP in the places where El Shaddai, Jesus is Lord, Ang Dating Daan, and Iglesia ni Cristo congregate.