Imee Marcos

Comelec defends 2023 budget in Senate

October 26, 2022 Camille P. Balagtas 271 views

SENATOR Imee Marcos presided over the hybrid Subcommittee I on the proposed 2023 budget of various government commissions and the Cooperative Development Authority.

As chairperson of the Committee on Electoral Reforms, Marcos also scrutinized the proposed P5.2 billion budget of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for FY (fiscal year) 2023 and zeroed in on the agency’s preparation for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in October 2023.

The senator took note of the possible doubling counting of voters on the part of the Comelec when it prepared the budget of the BSKE.

Data showed that the total number of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) voters is 29.9 million. SK voters are only those in the 15-17 age bracket.

“I don’t think so. They’re the ones from the 15 to 30 years old bracket. We will be doubling the count of the age bracket of 18 to 30,” Marcos pointed out in response to the senators’ inquiry.

Comelec Chairman George Garcia said the poll body will recompute and give the Senate Committee its final computation.

Garcia led the defense of the P5.2 billion Comelec budget for 2023 during the hybrid hearing.

Among the priority projects of the Comelec next year are the construction of the poll body’s new building and the barangay and SK elections.

Sen. Jose Jinggoy Estrada also asked Garcia what he expects for the upcoming BSKE, and Garcia replied that while they have “slowed down” their preparations following the enactment of the law postponing the December 5, 2022, poll exercise to October 2023, they will still proceed with the printing of the ballots and other related activities.