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Comelec allows regional heads to lower canvassing threshold in local level

(Updated 1:08 p.m.) The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has authorized its regional election directors to lower the canvassing threshold to allow the proclamation of local candidates even if not all the results have been transmitted and received.

At a press briefing Tuesday, poll chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said tension were building up in some areas because the boards of canvassers (BOC) have refused to proclaim due to the issue on threshold.

In Resolution 9700 issued Tuesday, the Comelec en banc said regional election directors are authorized to approve requests of board of canvassers (BOC) in their respective areas to lower the threshold to enable the board to generate the certificate of canvass for proclamation and transmission of results to the next level of canvassing.

In the past, the approval of the Comelec en banc is needed if the board of canvassers wanted to lower the 100 percent canvassing threshold if not all of the expected results are received. The BOC will be allowed if the results will not affect the outcome of the election in a particular position.

Now, the regional election directors will be provided by the National Support Center with “admin username” and corresponding password needed to lower the canvassing threshold and the instructions on how to do it.

The resolution further states that the municipal, city, provincial, district and regional BOCs shall proclaim the winning candidates on the basis of the last “grouped canvass report” generated by the consolidation and  canvassing system by manually preparing a Certificate of Canvass and Proclamation, even if not all results are received.

Poll chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said they issued the resolution upon receiving a number of requests from the BOCs to lower the threshold.

“We have been receiving constant calls because of the clearance [needed from the en banc]. They make the discretion based on their computation subject to annulment in case of doubt,” he told reporters at a press briefing.

He said "more than 50" requested for the lowering of the threshold, including Manila, Bacoor, Makati, Iloilo and "several from south and north."

With the resolution, “no clearance will be necessary from the Commission en banc,” Brillantes said. — Amita Legaspi/KBK, GMA News