As election nears, COMELEC gets P12-billion budget hike

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  • 2022 Philippine Elections
    2022 Philippine Elections
A worker walks on top of a pile ballot boxes after arranging and storing the boxes at a warehouse in Manila April 25, 2013. About 51 million people will cast their votes by using a Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) system for a mid-term election on May 13, a Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said.   REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco (PHILIPPINES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
FILE PHOTO: A worker walks on top of a pile ballot boxes after arranging and storing the boxes at a warehouse in Manila April 25, 2013. (Photo: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)

In preparation for the 2022 national and local elections, the Duterte government approved a P26.7 billion ($524 million) allotment for the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in this year’s General Appropriations Act (GAA) – a P12.1 billion ($237 million) difference from last year’s amount.

The GAA, more commonly known as the national budget, was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last December 29, 2021. View the breakdown of the COMELEC budget here.

The allotted amount this year is P10.7 billion and P16.5 billion higher than the 2016 and 2019 election year COMELEC budgets, respectively, and is the highest allotment for the commission throughout the entirety of the Duterte administration.

Allotment for the Commission on Election from 2016 to 2022.
Allotment for the Commission on Election from 2016 to 2022 (in PhP). Data from Department of Budget and Management. Graphics by Mark Ernest Famatigan.

Most of the funds goes to the election administration program, wherein P25.1 million, or 94% of the total budget, is allotted for it. The said program includes the Commission’s sub-programs on voter education and registration, as well as electoral supervision and monitoring.

The Voter Education and Registration Management Sub-program, as the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) describes, focuses on the “conduct of voter’s education and information campaign [on] print/radio/television and social media.”

Meanwhile, the Electoral Supervision and Monitoring Sub-program centers on the management of voting centers, software and procedure development, monitoring and conduct of the elections, and maintenance of voter records, statistics, and results.

As of December 14, the Commission recorded over 65 million Filipinos registered for the upcoming elections, a few million shy of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) projection of 73.3 million registered voters.

Election day is scheduled on May 9. Follow Yahoo Philippines for developments on the national and local elections.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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