New Comelec building a ‘necessity,’ says Garcia
MANILA, Philippines — “Having this building constructed is not a luxury. This is really a necessity. This is really needed.”
Speaking in Filipino, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair George Garcia said this on Monday after inspecting a two-hectare site in Pasay City where the Comelec’s nine-story office building would soon stand.
According to Garcia, the building will allow the Comelec to house under one roof not only its offices but also its warehouses, training facilities, event venues, and even dormitories for employees.
“It’s so big that even a warehouse will fit in. This is a very strategic location — near the airport and also near the pier. Hopefully, in the building that we are having constructed we can also have a dormitory for our workers who come from various provinces,” he said.
In past elections, he pointed out, the Comelec had to rent part of the Philippine International Convention Center where candidates could file their certificates. It also rented space at hotels where it could conduct its random manual audit.
“Now, based on the plan, with the guidance of Commissioner Rey Bulay and the whole commission en banc, it will have its own auditorium… meaning, it’s complete. Everything we will need will be there,” Garcia said.
Aware of the country’s economic status and its priorities, the Comelec decided to prolong the construction of the building from three to five years so that it would take a smaller chunk of the national budget yearly, he said.
The Comelec also requested Congress to grant a multi-year contractual allocation to facilitate the continuous bidding of items that would need to be procured for the construction.
Currently, Comelec rents several various buildings, including some floors at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila, and warehouses in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
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