Comelec exempts DOLE programs from poll spending ban
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday said that it exempted certain programs of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from the election spending ban during the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).
In a memorandum dated Sept. 7 but released to the public on Thursday, Sept. 14, Comelec chair George Garcia approved the poll body’s law department recommendation to exempt the following DOLE programs:
- Special program for Employment of Students
- Government Internship Program
- JobStart Philippines Program
- DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program, which includes the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program or KABUHAYAN Program and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers Program, or Tupad
Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma requested to exempt the programs, citing an “absolute necessity to continuously implement the programs even during the period of the election ban,” and an “utmost urgency” to disburse funds to target beneficiaries.
Laguesma also assured the poll body that control measures are in place to ensure the programs are properly implemented under the prescribed guidelines and that the funds will not be involved in the 2023 BSKE.