DBM hit for scrapping Comelec’s proposed budget for overseas absentee voting
MANILA, Philippines—A lawmaker scored the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for not giving the Commission on Elections (Comelec) its budget for the resumption of the overseas absentee voting (OAV) registration.
During the budget hearing in the House of Representatives on Thursday, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said they could make do with the zero budget by using their savings for the OAV registration.
In its presentation, the Comelec said its proposed budget for OAV registration at P89.6 million was not included by the DBM in the Comelec’s 2015 budget in the National Expenditure Program (NEP).
This irked Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, who chairs the House committee on overseas workers affairs, as he urged the DBM to restore the proposed budget in the NEP.
“The committee will not rest until Comelec gets what it proposed for OAV,” Bello said.
Brillantes said Congress need not pass a supplemental budget for the OAV registration, and that the Comelec might be able to save funds during their bidding for the 2016 elections.
The Comelec is seeking a P16.944 billion in their 2015 budget in the NEP, but what they proposed to DBM is worth P35.97 billion.
Under the budget, at least P12.6 billion is allocated for the preparation of the 2016 presidential elections.