To ensure that the barangay candidates will not politicize the relief operations in Bohol, election Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. emphasized that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will supervise in the relief distribution.
Brillantes said that the Comelec came out a resolution allowing the Red Cross to monitor the distribution of relief goods to the victims of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Bohol.
“We came out with a resolution so there is participation of the Red Cross as stated in the provisions,” Brillantes said.
He clarified that the Comelec will not interrupt the distribution of relief goods to the victims, but will just ensure that the distribution will not be used for political purposes.
“We will just monitor in the relief distribution just to make sure all election laws as well as non-interpretation of the relief acts . . . wala dapat mangyari at hindi dapat sumali ang mga candidates in the barangay polls,” Brillantes clarified.
“We will ensure that the local officials will not interrupt with this and distributions should be made by non-political agencies like the Red Cross,” he said.
The distribution of goods trickled down from the national government, governor, municipal/city mayors up to the barangay levels.
Recently, the Comelec has suspended the barangay polls in Bohol, citing that the authorities are still in the rehabilitation phase of damages brought about by the strong quake and the province is still experiencing aftershocks.
The special polls in Bohol will be held on November 25.
Brillantes admitted that the Comelec will need an additional fund for the special polls in Bohol to pay for teachers who will serve in the elections on Monday, including Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel.
“The bulk of expenses will really come from the pay for teachers. Siguro yun ang 80 [percent]to 90 percent gastos, but if only when there is an improvised structures,” Brillantes said.
The Comelec has also allocated a total of P100 million for the security operations in the barangay elections, in which P60 million for Philippine National Police (PNP) and P40 million for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez also urged every barangay nationwide to give P10,000 for the election fund.
Jimenez warned that a barangay official faces an election offense for failure to provide such amount.
The Comelec is targeting P400 million from such barangay proceeds—the Comelec has already received P102 million.
The barangay elections is set on October 28, declared a holiday by President Benigno Aquino 3rd.