Comelec chairman sets sights on structural reforms, good governance

Comelec chair George Garcia says if their allows it, the poll body might give additional allowances to poll workers

Comelec interim Chair George Erwin Garcia (INQUIRER FILES)

MANILA, Philippines — Newly appointed Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman George Garcia on Monday said structural reforms and good governance issues within the poll body will have to be immediately addressed.

“Ang kinakailangan talagang ayusin kaagad dito sa Comelec — ma-confirm man ako o hindi — ay ‘yung structural reforms at good governance na tinatawag,” he said in an interview on Telaradyo’s Sakto.

(What needs to be immediately addressed, whether or not I am confirmed,  are the structural reforms and good governance.)

“Kinakailangan lahat ng nakikita namin transparent. Kaya nga ‘yung transparency and accountability ay naandyan. Dahil diyan, diyan papasok ngayon ang independence at impartiality ng Commission on Elections,” he explained.

(Everything we see should be transparent. That is why transparency and accountability are there. Because of those, independence and impartiality of the Commission on Elections will follow.)

While Garcia assured that he will always be fair, there will be six other Comelec members who will correct matters in case he makes wrong rulings.

Prior to his appointment, Garcia served the Comelec as interim commissioner under the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

Garcia’s appointment by Duterte was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments in the 18th Congress due to lack of quorum.

Garcia said that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has not issued any marching orders, so far.

“Hindi po kami nakapag-usap ng ating Pangulo pero ang alam ko po, knowing him, isa lang naman po ang magiging directive ng ating Pangulo kung saka-sakali,” he said.

(The president and I have not talked but from what I know, knowing him, he will only have one directive if ever.)

“‘Yan ay (That is) number 1 to maintain the independence and impartiality of the Commission of Elections to always affirm the Constitution and to always uphold the rule of law,” he added, noting that Marcos respects the poll body’s independence.