‘Comelec’s P2.5-B contingency fund should’ve gone through budget process’
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Friday said that the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) P2.589 billion contingency fund for the 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections should have undergone the budget process.
“That amount should have been given to Comelec properly, that is through the budget process,” said Pimentel in a text message.
Comelec Chairman George Garcia admitted before the Senate panel on finance on Thursday that the commission was granted P2.589-billion for October 30 elections.
According to Pimentel, it “was wrong to have funded Comelec’s needs from a fund which is controlled by one person, a political person who was elected thru an election conducted by the Comelec”
The lawmaker then pointed out that it would’ve been better if it was funded by the Congress through proper budgeting processes.
“[C]ongress is a collegial deliberative body composed of the direct representatives of the people, so the funding of certain activities through the budget is the decision of the people acting thru their representatives,” he added.
Garcia said the contingency fund was received by the commission when the barangay and SK elections were moved from December 5, 2022 to October 30, 2023.