Report expenditures, comelec asks candidates

CEBU - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Cebu said it will be sending all the election returns (ERs) from the different towns and cities of the province to the poll body's head office in Manila.

Comelec Cebu Supervisor Eddie Aba said the returns will be sent to Manila, as required by Comelec main office, after all of the ERs in the province have been gathered by the Comelec here and after all of the winners have already been proclaimed .

With the sending of ERs to Manila, Aba yesterday urged all candidates in the recently concluded May 13 elections to immediately submit their expenditure report even if they did not win in the elections.

Aba said the expense report is mandated by law and all candidates, even those who have withdrawn their candidacies in the last minute, are required by law to submit a detailed report on how much they spent for the entire election period.

As this developed, the Comelec said more voters cast their votes last May 13 in Cebu province compared to the May 10, 2010 polls. An increase in voter turnout was also observed in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue.

In Cebu province, 80.86 percent or 1,446,114 out of 1,788,498 registered voters went out to vote. The figure is higher than 2010's 77 percent voter turnout.

Comelec 7 Director Temie Lambino said the high turnout in last week's elections can be due to the "cleansing" of the automated system. It can also be because voters have become better informed, he added.

Among the towns, Ginatilan recorded the highest number of voters who actually voted, or 9,220 out of 10,168. Bantayan Islands had the lowest turnout with only about 36 percent or 28,558 out of the 44,854 registered voters.

In Cebu City, 81.36 percent or 445,576 votes out of the 548,681 registered voters went to their assigned precincts last week, compared to 80 percent in 2010.