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MANILA, Philippines — After the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines have come into agreement to move the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to the 4th Monday of October 2017, the poll body will now stop its preparations for the said polls that was originally set on October 31, 2016.
COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista says the latest pronouncement from Congress is a welcome development because this will set the tone for their next move.
He says the commission is now planning to resume the conduct of voters’ registration if polls is to be conducted next year.
“Let’s see (when we will conduct it). During our en banc session earlier, I had instructed our people to formulate a new timetable on the premise that the new schedule for our elections is October 2017,” Bautista said.
Bautista points out that before stopping their preparations for the supposed October polls COMELEC has used up around 50 million pesos from their 2016 budget that was alloted for the conduct of the barangay polls.
However, the poll chief says if polls will now be on October 2017 the issue will be the budget allocation for it.
COMELEC’s original budget proposal for 2017 is 4.6 billion pesos since it is not an election year originally.
But Bautista says in conducting barangay and SK polls, they are looking at an estimate of more than 6 billion pesos.
“But we still need to utilize the fund intended for next elections,” said Bautista.
COMELEC will ask congress for the necessary budget allocation for the polls next year.— Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

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