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Comelec finished 964-page draft of Omnibus Election Code changes —Garcia

The Commission on Elections has finished a 964-page draft of proposed amendments to the Omnibus Election Code, COMELEC chairman George Garcia said on Wednesday.

Speaking in an online forum, Garcia said the proposed revisions include provisions on the overhaul of the party-list system and changes in campaign finance.

“As of yesterday, we have already finished the 964 pages draft Omnibus Election Code which we’re going to transmit hopefully by next week to our Congress so that maybe they can fine-tune, add or pass,” Garcia said in a webinar of the UP Alumni Association and the Vinzons Policy Center (VPC) on the country’s readiness for clean and honest future elections.

“This is so revolutionary that we included everything including all jurisprudence and decisions of the court pertaining to the conduct of the elections. We even included a provision on the possible review and overhaul of the party-list system,” he added.

“Hopefully, in case that would be approved, that would include likewise modifications as far as our campaign finance initiative is concerned," Garcia said.

The Comelec chief said the Comelec was pushing for a new set of legislation that would improve the country’s electoral system including a proposed measure that would allow online voting for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and seafarers.

Garcia said of the 1.6 million registered overseas voters, only 600,000, or 39% cast their ballots in the 2022 polls.

"Sana maintindihan natin na kailangan namin ng batas para maipatupad namin. (We hope that they would understand that we need laws to enforce.) Although if you’re going to read the Constitution into the period of power of the Comelec is encompassing…it is always limited by the existence of legislation in order for us to enforce and ensure honest, orderly, and free elections," he said. —NB, GMA Integrated News