MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced Thursday that it has secured a P2.589 billion contingency fund for the 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
Comelec Chairman George Garcia verified the additional funding in response to a request from Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
“Comelec was given from the reserve fund by the authority of the President P2.589 billion? Pimentel asked Garcia during deliberations on the proposed 2024 Comelec budget.
Garcia confirmed this and explained that it was received when the barangay and SK elections were moved to October 30, 2023.
“Kasi na-reset po… ‘di ba po dapat nga December 5, 2022 (but was moved to October 30), nag-registration po kami nag-increase in the number of voters kasama SK, ayon po 91 million kasama ang SK, so nag-increase the number of constituencies, the number of electoral councils that will serve the pati polls, pati overtime,” he explained.
(Because it was reset from December 5, 2022 to October 30, so we had voter registrations, we registered and increased the number of voters with SK, now it’s 91 million with SK, so we let’s also increase the number of constituencies, electoral councils that will serve as well as ballot boxes and overtime.)
Senator Imee Marcos said there was already an allocation of P8.411 billion for the barangay and SK elections.
With this new funding, Garcia said the total budget allocated for the elections now stands at P11 billion.
About P7 billion will be used to pay the fees and training of election board members, while the rest, including the additional funding, will be used to finance other costs.
The official campaign period runs from October 19 to 28.