Comelec warns LGUs: Allocate funds for barangay polls or face raps-A A +A
Saturday, September 28, 2013
LOCAL government units (LGUs) have been warned Saturday they face election charges if they refuse to set aside funds to help shoulder the expenses for next month's barangay polls.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes said Resolution 9739 directs all LGUs nationwide to set aside at least P10,000 to help cover the expenses for the October 28 elections.
"If they will not help us, let me take note that it is in our resolution that if they do not give P10,000 from the barangays, it is an election offense," said Brillantes.
"It is not an action from us. It is in the law. And as you well know, when it comes to election offenses, we are fond of it… we are fond of giving samples," the official added.
Brillantes noted that an election offense carries penalties of imprisonment of one to six years, removal of right to vote, and disqualification from holding public office.
Earlier, the Comelec said it needs P3.45 billion for the synchronized elections next month but it was only given P1.75-billion budget.
Resolution 9739 was issued to source the additional amount of P2,274,902,000 from the LGUs.
"The commission resolves to require all local government units to set aside amounts as may be necessary to augment the appropriations of the Commission for the conduct of the 2013 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, which in no case shall be less than P10,000 but not more than 10 percent of the general fund of Barangays, which have been reserved and set aside for the Sangguniang Kabataan," said Resolution 9739.
Section 50 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) provides that "local governments shall appropriate funds to defray such necessary and reasonable expenses of the members of the board of election tellers (BETs), board of canvassers (BOC), the printing of election forms, the procurement of other election paraphernalia, and the installation of polling booths."
Brillantes said Comelec is hoping that local officials will not hesitate anymore in giving the poll body the required amount since it is not for the poll body's benefit.
"We will use the money for our teachers, who will serve as Board of Election Tellers (BETs)… I think it is their (local officials) obligation to help us in funding this election," said the poll chief.
Brillantes noted how the Comelec had to dig into its own savings to come up with almost P2 billion while the looming postponement of the Sangguniang Kabataan polls can give them an additional P100 million. (HDT/Sunnex)