Garcia: Comelec en banc to review proposed amendments to Omnibus Election Code

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 24) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc is set to review the proposed amendments to the 1985 Omnibus Election Code.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source on Friday, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said a committee was formed to list the possible amendments in the recently completed 964-page draft.

"We are hoping that the same will be submitted to us with the commission en banc for our review," he said.

Garcia explained that the proposed amendments aim to adapt the 1985 Omnibus Election Code with the changing times, especially amid efforts at automating the conduct of polls in the country.

The Comelec chairman said one of the amendments proposed was improving the provisions for screening party-list applicants. He noted there were complaints that some party-lists no longer cater to those they should be representing in Congress.

Citing a Supreme Court ruling, one does not need to be part of the sector he or she wants to represent as long as the advocacy is proven, Garcia added.

A separate legislation to amend the Party-List System Act will be also welcomed by the Comelec, he said.

"We have to ensure greater and equal participation of the marginalized and the underrepresented sector," Garcia said.

Another proposal is allowing online voting, which will be beneficial for overseas Filipinos, specifically seafarers, he added.