Comelec needs ₱3.8 billion more for simultaneous BSK, con-con polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 28) — An election of delegates to the proposed constitutional convention coinciding with the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSK) polls on Oct. 30 jack up the cost to ₱15 billion, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Comelec Chairman George Garcia on Tuesday told the House Appropriations Committee that the poll body would need ₱3.827 billion for the election of convention delegates, including ballot printing and other election paraphernalia, and additional pay for poll workers.

Garcia this would add to the cost of holding the BSK polls, which would be done manually.

“Base po sa estimate ng komisyon, time and motion study, if you’re going to elect the delegates, mga two to three hours na bibilangin at ipe-prepare ng mga teachers (poll workers) on the day of the election yung mismong mga documents patungkol sa delegates,” he said.

[Translation: Based on the commission's estimate, time and motion study, if you're going to elect the delegates, it will take about two to three hours for the teachers (poll workers) to count and prepare the documents regarding delegates on election day.]

Around 681,000 poll workers are expected to serve as members of the electoral board for the Oct. 30 elections.

Congress allotted P8.4 billion for the BSK elections under the 2022 national budget. Garcia said since the polls were moved to October, Comelec requires ₱3.2 billion more to serve 1.6 million new voters.

The House of Representatives approved on second reading on Wednesday a resolution calling for a constitutional convention. The resolution of both houses needs to pass the Senate to take effect.

The House Appropriations Committee approved on Tuesday the funding for a constitutional convention.

Without the additional pay a for the proposed election of convention delegates, Garcia said the Comelec has to shell out between ₱8,000 to ₱10,000 to poll workers, subject to withholding tax.