P500M needed for Bangsamoro plebiscite

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) said P500 million in funds will be needed to run a plebiscite for the Bangsamoro juridical entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).

Comelec commissioner Al Pareno told lawmakers during the hearing of the Ad Hoc committee at the House of Representative on Wednesday that the poll body will need at least six months to prepare for the plebiscite.

The preparations include signature verification of voters/petitioners as well as the bidding process and purchasing of count machines.

Pareno said the said amount does not include the funds, which will be used in areas that want to be part of the extended Bangsamoro territory.

The election official said the poll body has yet to start with the actual preparations since they are still waiting for the Congress approval of the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

"We can't start until the new budget is approved by both Houses of Congress," Pareno said.

The commissioner said Comelec wants the plebiscite to take place during the 2016 Barangay Elections. (Sunnex)
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