MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said it will accept whatever the decision of the lawmakers with regards to the poll body’s proposed budget for next year.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said Congress has the power to slash, maintain or increase the poll body’s proposed PHP41.922 billion budget for 2022.
“Congress unquestionably holds the power of the purse,” Jimenez replied when asked by the media regarding senators’ plan to either file a one-sentence bill or slash its budget to pressure Comelec into extending voter registration.
He said the Comelec will continue to do its task which is to hold electoral exercises in the country.
“For its part, Comelec – as the sole government entity tasked with the conduct of elections – can only do its utmost to ensure that it fulfills its mandate to hold secure, accurate, and free and fair elections,” he said.
Jimenez said the Commission is firm with its earlier decision not to extend the September 30 deadline of the nationwide voter listing.
“The Commission has, thus far, not amended its position not to extend the deadline for voter registration,” he added.
Meanwhile, Jimenez said they take note of the Department of Health’s (DOH) statement that antigen test is not recommended as a screening method during events including the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC) that will kick off next month.
“The Comelec notes the DOH’s statement, but also notes that antigen tests are accepted by the House of Representatives as a requirement for entry into their premises,” he said.
The filing of COC of those who intend to participate in the May 9, 2022 national and elections will take place from October 1 to 8. (PNA)