Funds for October elections available, says Comelec
By Minerva BC Newman
Cebu, Philippines (17 September) -- The Commission on Election (Comelec) says funds are now available for the October 29 SK and barangay elections.
COMELEC commissioner Resurreccion Borra said, the COMELEC has already received an initial budget of P664-million for the October 29 elections and it will be used in printing the ballots, election returns and other materials that are needed in preparations for the actual elections.
Borra said that the COMELEC needs to print about 45 million ballots for the barangay and another 5 million ballots for the SK. He explains that the initial P664-million is part of the P2.6-billion budget the DBM allocated for the October barangay and SK elections.
He also clarified that the local government units are no longer obliged to counterpart allocations, specifically for the transportation allowances and honoraria of the members of the Board of Election Tellers (BET) because the COMELEC en banc had approved a resolution that allocate P300 per member for the transportation allowance and P500/member as honorarium if they serve at the SK polls.
In similar developments, Barangay Guadalupe, one of the largest barangays in Cebu City has appropriated about P350T for its election-related expenses during the October polls.
Guadalupe barangay captain, Eugenio Faelna said, "We support the elections, we will even spend for it." The appropriations signified the barangays' readiness and its objections to postpone the elections, as some congressmen proposed, he added.
The appropriation resolution still needs the approval of the Cebu City council that has tabled it for discussion on its September 19 session.
In Malacañang however, the President told women participants of the Women's National Electoral Assembly 2007 at the PICC in Pasay City that they must campaign for the modernization of our electoral processes—voting, counting and canvassing, starting with the forthcoming barangay elections.
Addressing the 2-day national assembly, the president called on fellow women leaders to exercise the right to vote to achieve the right of women to have more economic choices, to determine the future of their lives and the lives of their families.
The assembly commemorates the signing by President Manuel L. Quezon on September 15, 1937 of the Philippine Suffrage Act which, gave women equal right to vote. (PIA-Cebu) [top]