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Comelec lowers budget request for brgy., SK elections to P4B

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has lowered its budget request for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) to P4 billion from P10 billion, Commissioner George Garcia said Tuesday.

Comelec previously said it needs an additional P10 billion budget should the BSKE elections be moved to 2023. However, Senator Imee Marco said this was an “outrageous demand.”

“Yesterday, we submitted likewise, we offered a P4 billion additional budget na instead na P10 billion. We said that we’ll not proceed with this activity, we’ll not proceed with this one, we’ll not procure this one,” he told CNN Philippines.

“Of course, all will be dependent on the number of voters that will be registering from November to May because definitely, we will be again opening up the registration of voters,” he added. 

Garcia said Comelec has also submitted the necessary documents to Marcos, who deferred the deliberations on the poll body's proposed 2023 budget on Monday due to its failure to submit necessary documents.

“Hopefully, we can proceed, we are pleading that we can proceed already with the hearing of our budget,” Garcia said.

When asked if the quality of the elections will be compromised should the budget request be denied, the commissioner said the poll body will face difficulties.

“Mahihirapan po ang Comelec sa supervision and conduct of the elections, sa management of the elections because alam naman po natin with the conduct of the election, the resources will be very-very important,” he said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed a law postponing the BSKE from December 2022 to October 2023. —KBK, GMA News