COMELEC might get peanuts for new building

·1 min read
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2022/02/18: The front facade of the Comelec main building in Intramuros. (Photo by Josefiel Rivera/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2022/02/18: The front facade of the Comelec main building in Intramuros. (Photo by Josefiel Rivera/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The national government wants to allot P500 million for the new building of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City, but they need P8.2 billion for it.

This was according to the National Expenditure Program (NEP) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), a prerequisite to the General Appropriations Bill (GAB).

COMELEC requested a total agency budget nearly double the amount the DBM recommends. They asked for P10.07 billion, but the budget agency only recommends P5.22 billion.

Out of the former amount, listed under Capital Outlays (CO) is the recommended P500 million for the “Construction of Main and Integrated Field Office Building”, but the election agency wanted P2.14 billion for the said purpose. P500 million is roughly a quarter of the amount they requested.

COMELEC chairman George Garcia, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s former lawyer, said that “the building will cost P8.2 billion.”

Malaki, sobrang laki, kasi po naghihirap ang ating bansa, pero kahit initial lang po muna para makapag-hukay-hukay lang ng konti doon (It’s big, so big, because our country is experiencing difficulties, but even an initial amount can help start construction.)”

He added, “Alam ko po na napaka-tight ng ating budget, alam natin yan because of the pandemic situation alam ko po na pwede maka-antay ang building. Kaya lang baka naman kahit kakarampot ‘yung kailangan sa building namin ay dahan-dahan.

(I know that our budget is very tight, we know that because of the pandemic situation, I know that the building can wait. That’s why we are asking that maybe the amount for the building can be in increments.)

Presently, the Commission’s main office is at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila.

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.

Watch more videos on Yahoo: