2 Comelec commissioners want ruling on poll uniforms reviewed

TWO top officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) want a review of the decision to acquire uniforms for employees and Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) on May 9, Election Day.

In an urgent memorandum, Comelec commissioners Christian Robert Lim and Luie Tito Guia asked the Commission en banc to reassess its earlier ruling.

“In this regard, undersigned respectfully recommend that the commission en banc revisits, re-assess and/or reconsider its decision to procure the singlets and the t-shirts. It is believed that there will be no harm done if the decision be reconsidered,” the poll body officials said.

They added, “When the procurement became public, the Comelec decision was generally met with negative reactions. Initially, the criticism was heavy in the social media. Thereafter, even the mainstream media came out with its critique of the procurement.”

Lim and Guia said the response of the poll body over the criticisms was unsatisfactory, saying: “Undersigned expect that this will add to the recent public relation challenges that the Commission have been enduring. Thus, instead of enhancing credibility in the process, the decision may end up eroding public confidence to the same.”

The Comelec will procure 354,053 bib vests (singlets) for the BEI members and support staff amounting to P26,553,975.

The poll body is also conducting a public bidding for the purchase of 6,158 t-shirts for their employees, with an approved budget of P1,231,600.

The Comelec said the uniforms aim to enhance the credibility of the upcoming elections.

An accredited poll watchdog for the May 9 national and local polls is hoping that the Comelec will not get distracted with its plan to promote itself.

“We just hope that with 36 days to elections Comelec won't get too distracted w/externals and non essential image boosters,” said Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) national chairperson Ambassador Henrietta de Villa said.

She said the Comelec should be busy in ensuring that timelines are met including schedule on procurements of election materials among others.

“What should be insured are vote count machines (VCMs) all working & deployed on time, ballots printed packed & ready for shipment, the same for all consumables, transmission 100%, polling precincts ready, security especially in hot spots in place, GI for VVPAT already approved by commission en banc & transmitted to BEIs,” De Villa said.

She added, “We pray and pray a lot that CHAMP elections will dawn upon us. That Comelec is ready. That PPCRV is ready. That the Voters vote wisely. God help us all.” (FP/Sunnex)
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