Drilon wants review of Comelec’s 2013 poll budget

July 26, 2012 9:45 pm 

MANILA, July 26 –- Senate committee on finance chairman Senator Franklin Drilon on Thursday said he will ask Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes to sit down with the committee and review the poll body’s budget for the 2013 mid-term elections.

Brillantes earlier threatened to resign if the P5 billion budget cut from the Comelec’s P13 billion appropriation will not be restored by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

”We will not react on the basis of threat. We will review the budget and see why there is such an emotional reaction. We should not be emotional about it. Let’s sit down and see what are the needed fund,” Drilon said.

On Brillantes’ reaction that the budget cut would mean manual elections next year, Drilon said the country cannot afford to go back to the old system, saying there is enough budget for the conduct of automated elections.

”We cannot go to back to the manual. I will see to it that the budget will be adequate to provide for automated(polls) because that’s the law. We cannot go back to manual,” Drilon stressed.

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano agreed that going back to manual would not be good for the country which had its first computerized election in 2010.

”I don’t think that there is anyone in our country who wants to go back to manual. We should no longer move backward and go back to manual,” Cayetano said.

”We will scrutinize their (Comelec)budget because DBM secretary is insisting that they have enough. It’s a simple issue that we should be able to decide,” Cayetano added.

The Senate committee on finance, chaired by Drilon, is currently reviewing the performances of the major department in the government in preparation for the Senate deliberations of the proposed P2.0007 trillion budget for 2012.

Drilon’s panel has already finished reviewing the performances of three departments: social welfare and development, health and education. (PNA) FPV/jfm

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