PRESS RELEASE
Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: April 10, 2014

COMELEC Spox to walk the entire length of Luzon to promote voter registration, validation

comeleclogo_largeCommission on Elections (COMELEC) Spokesman James Jimenez shall embark on a long and arduous walk from Laoag in Ilocos Norte to Matnog in Sorsogon starting May 6, 2014 to drumbeat the poll body’s call for all qualified citizens to register as voters and submit to biometric registration.

The system of continuing voter registration shall resume on May 6, 2014, preparatory to the National and Local Elections of 2016.

“Apart from rising to the challenge of processing close to three million new voters, the Commission must also ensure that more than 9 million registered voters are informed that they need to submit themselves for biometric capture lest they be disenfranchised in 2016,” stated Jimenez, in his Memorandum submitted to the COMELEC En Banc.

“However, beyond merely delivering information, the Commission must also take steps to mobilize these vulnerable voters, to actually get them to the registration centers where their biometric information can be captured. And the Commission only has 17 months to do it,” he furthered.

On February 15, 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino III signed Republic Act 10367 or “An Act Providing For Mandatory Biometrics Voter Registration” which requires all voters to submit their biometric information (digital photograph, fingerprints and digital signature) to the COMELEC or face disenfranchisement in 2016. The COMELEC has earlier stated that more than 9 million voters nationwide lack or have no biometric record.

Thus, Jimenez said, it is essential for the poll body to embark on a big event that shall capture the imagination of the population, to inspire citizens to take action and see to their civic responsibilities within the 17 month registration period and to encourage other organizations and institutions to band together with the COMELEC in the campaign to ensure clean, flying voter-free elections in 2016.

With these imperatives in mind, Jimenez has conceptualized “WALKAH-WALKAH: Step Juan Tungo sa Mulat na Botante”, which is a project to traverse the length of the island of Luzon, on foot.

Along the way, Jimenez, accompanied with a committed group of individuals shall traverse through towns, municipalities, cities and Regions, numerous public gatherings will be conducted where information and education relevant to voter validation and registration will be delivered to citizens.

“WALKAH-WALKAH: Step Juan Tungo sa Mulat na Botante” will kick-off in Laoag City on May 6, 2014, coinciding with the start of voter registration.

For more information on the COMELEC’s Walkah-Walkah Project, Jimenez urged the public to visit http://walkahwalkah.org. ###

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STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER AL A. PARRENO

comeleclogo_largeThe Commission has created a Sub-Committee on Bangsamoro Plebiscite chaired by Commissioner Al A. Parreno and co-chaired by Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia.

A Special Task Force was also created to oversee, supervise and control the preparations for the conduct of the plebiscite.

The Commission, through the Sub-Committee on Bangsamoro Plebiscite, is in active communication with various stakeholders, such as the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and leaders and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. #30

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PRESS RELEASE
Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: January 23, 2014

COMELEC Chief distributes voter ID cards in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya

chairmanCommission on Elections Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. this morning led the distribution of voter identification cards in Bayombong, Province of Nueva Vizcaya.

The poll chief surprised the voters of Bayombong who were claiming their voter IDs, when he showed up at 8:00 this morning at the Office of the Election Officer to oversee the distribution.

Chairman Brillantes was joined by COMELEC Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Abraham Johnny G. Asuncion and Bayombong Election Officer Atty. Wilma D. Binbinon.

The Chairman’s visit is part of the poll body’s ramped up effort to distribute voter ID cards nationwide.

Early this month, the COMELEC’s Education and Information Department launched the #VoterIDKo Project which aims to provide a more systematic means of distributing voter IDs. ###

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PRESS RELEASE
Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: January 16, 2014

COMELEC Field Offices to post list of voters with unclaimed Voter IDs

comeleclogo_largeAs part of its effort to distribute the millions of unclaimed voter identification cards, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) today announced that it has directed all its Field Offices nationwide to post the list of the names of voters whose voter IDs remain unclaimed.

COMELEC Spokesman James Jimenez said that starting this month, Election Officers throughout the country will be posting the said list outside local COMELEC Offices, Barangay Halls and other public places.

“The Voter ID is a valid ID recognized by all government offices and banks in all legal transactions,” stated COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez. “Thus, the COMELEC deems the issuance and distribution of voter ID cards as a vital service to the public.”

However, Jimenez stressed that due to the lack of awareness of the public as to the availability of their voter IDs at the local COMELEC Offices, an estimated 4.5 million voter IDs remain unclaimed. To address this, the COMELEC’s Education and Information Department (EID) which Jimenez heads, has launched the #VoterIDKo Project to provide a more systematic means of distributing voter IDs.

The posting of the list of voters with unclaimed voter IDs are also part of the project, which the COMELEC En Banc promulgated through Resolution No. 9837 dated December 19, 2013.

“To find out if your voter ID is already printed and available for release, please visit your local COMELEC Office,” said Jimenez, adding that to claim their Voter IDs, voters will be required to present any valid ID.

Jimenez said the COMELEC-EID has set-up a Social Media Support Unit to receive queries from the general public regarding their voter ID concerns. For assistance in finding and claiming voter IDs, Jimenez said voters may call the COMELEC hotline (02) 525-9294 or tweet their concerns to @COMELEC using the hashtag #VoterIDKo. They may also email voteridko@gmail.com.

“The #VoterIDKo project manned by the COMELEC-EID Social Media Support Unit has already facilitated the release of almost a thousand voter IDs since its launch last January 13, 2014,” Jimenez said. ###

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PRESS RELEASE
Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: November 28, 2013

COMELEC to establish Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS) by 2014

comeleclogo_largeThe Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced today that it has embarked on the formulation of a Strategic Performance Management System as mandated in Senate and House of Representatives Joint Resolution No. 4 Series of 2009 and Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular No. 6 series of 2012.

The SPMS, according to the Civil Service Commission, is “focused on linking individual performance vis-à-vis the agency’s organizational vision, mission and strategic goals.”

“It is a mechanism that ensures that the employee achieves the objectives set by the organization and the organization on the other hand, achieves the objectives that it has set itself in its strategic plan,” the CSC furthered.

Under CSC MC 6, all department heads are expected to make their own performance contracts, namely the Office of Performance Commitment and Review (OPCR), Division Performance Commitment and Review (DPCR) and the Individual Performance Commitment and Review (IPCR) which shall become the basis for ratings.

COMELEC Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. said the poll body aims to finalize its SPMS by the year 2014. Towards this end, the COMELEC Chief said the poll body has already organized a Performance Management Team (PMT) last September 2013 and the PMT has come up with an action Plan that will enable the COMELEC to submit to the CSC for approval, the agency’s own SPMS, tools and guidelines.

Brillantes, who also serves as Chairman of the PMT, said he is joined in the Team by COMELEC Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia and COMELEC Directors Atty. Adolfo Ibañez (Personnel); Atty. Margaret C. Ching (Lead, Pillar VI Comstrat 1116); Atty. Maria Lea Alarkon (Finance); Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan (Planning) and COMELEC-NCR Director Atty. Jubil Surmieda (representing the Field Offices). A representative of the rank and file employees will also be part of the PMT.

A series of trainings and workshops is already being conducted to rally all COMELEC officials and employees nationwide towards the SPMS’ objectives. ###

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PRESS RELEASE
Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: November 4, 2013

Candidates reminded to file statement of poll contributions and expenditures

comeleclogo_largeThe Commission on Elections (COMELEC) reminded candidates in the recently concluded Barangay Elections of their obligation to file their statements of contribution and expenditures (SOCE) in connection with the elections.

According to COMELEC Spokesman James Jimenez, all candidates should file their SOCEon or before 27 November 2013 before the Office of the Election Officer where they filed their Certificates of Candidacy.

Non-compliant winning candidates cannot assume office until they file their SOCE as per Section 14 of Republic Act 7166, he emphasized.

As to the form and contents of the SOCE, Jimenez referred to Sec. 3 Rule 8 of COMELEC Resolution No. 9476, which states:

Form and contents of statements. – The statement required in next preceding section shall be in writing, subscribed and sworn to by the candidate or by the treasurer of the party. It shall set forth in detail the following:
a. The amount of contribution, the date of receipt, and the full name, profession, business, taxpayer identification number (TIN) and exact home and business address of the person or entity from whom the contribution was received;
b. The amount of every expenditure, the date thereof, the full name and exact address of the person or entity to whom payment was made, and the purpose of the expenditure;
A Summary Report of Lawful Expenditure categorized according to the list specified above shall be submitted by the candidate or party treasurer within thirty (30) days after the day of the election…
c. Any unpaid obligation, its nature and amount, the full name and the exact home and business address of the person or entity to whom said obligation is owing; and
d. If the candidate or treasurer of the party has received no contribution, made no expenditure, or has no pending obligation, the statement shall reflect such fact.
e. And such other information that the Commission may require.

The Campaign Finance Unit (CFU) of the COMELEC shall strictly monitor the compliance of the candidates. ###

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PRESS RELEASE
Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: October 25, 2013

Liquor Ban on October 27 and 28

comeleclogo_largeThe Commission on Elections (COMELEC) today reminded the public that a liquor ban will be imposed on October 27 and 28, 2013, in connection with the October 28, 2013 Barangay Elections.

The ban covers the selling, offering, buying, serving and taking of intoxicating liquor, said COMELEC Spokesman James Jimenez.

“Starting 12:01 of October 27 until midnight of October 28, an election liquor ban will be implemented nationwide except in the Province of Bohol and in Zamboanga City,” Jimenez said.

He explained that that Bohol and Zamboanga City is not covered by the ban as the Barangay polls there were postponed to November 25, 2013. ###

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PRESS RELEASE
Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: October 24, 2013

November 25 is Barangay Elections in Bohol
Fresh Election Calendar of Activities set

comeleclogo_largeThe Commission on Elections En Banc has resolved to set the Barangay Elections in the quake-hit Province of Bohol to November 25, 2013.

In COMELEC Resolution No. 9804, promulgated October 24, 2013, the poll body noted that while it is “ready to conduct the Barangay Elections as scheduled, the effect of the earthquake that hit Bohol is of such nature that the holding of a free and orderly Barangay Elections has become impossible, and that a month-long postponement of the polls in Bohol would be most appropriate and practical…”

Among the reasons the COMELEC considered in its decision to postpone the polls was to give the local government units (LGUs) concerned enough time to thoroughly inspect the structural integrity of the school buildings in the Province, the effect and/or prejudice in the ongoing relief and rehabilitation efforts, the geological condition in Bohol and the need to afford the people in Bohol ample time to rebuild their homes and normalize their lives.

But while the COMELEC concedes the “overriding importance of the ongoing relief and rehabilitation,” the poll body takes cognizance of the reports that some candidates are taking advantage of the ongoing relief operations to pursue their candidacies. “Therefore, a clear policy should be adopted to secure that such operations remains non-partisan and fair,” it said.

Candidates, Barangay Officials keep out of Bohol relief ops

The COMELEC ruled that all releases in relation to the relief and rehabilitation efforts shall be turned-over to, administered and disbursed by the Philippine National Red Cross through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) including the respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC).

No relief or other goods for distribution shall be released to any candidate for the Barangay Elections, any incumbent Barangay Officials including their family members, the COMELEC added.

Any such participation shall be treated as an election offense of vote buying.

COMELEC Officials and employees in Bohol are mandated to monitor compliance to the COMELEC Resolution. The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) is likewise called upon to assist the COMELEC in the monitoring.

The new Election Period in the Province of Bohol is set from October 26, 2013 to December 10, 2013. The COMELEC also added two more days in the Period of Filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) in the Province, on October 28 and 29, 2013.

All filers who filed their COCs on October 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17, 2013 shall be considered as “candidates” as defined by the Omnibus Election Code for the purpose of applying the prohibitions defined therein. ###

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PRESS RELEASE
Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: October 18, 2013

On the issue of possible postponement of Barangay polls:
COMELEC Chief to fly to Bohol

chairmanThe Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced today that COMELEC Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. will go to Bohol over the weekend to personally check on the situation in the quake-hit Island of Bohol.

COMELEC Spokesman James Jimenez said Chairman Brillantes will look into the condition not only of school buildings and warehouse facilities that shall house election paraphernalia in Bohol, but also the situation of voters in the Province that was affected by the recent quake.

According to Jimenez, the COMELEC En Banc has received a report from the COMELEC Office in Region 7 saying that 536 school buildings in Bohol’s 22 Municipalities were either damaged or totally damaged. It was also reported, added Jimenez, that several school buildings are now being used as temporary evacuation centers.

Jimenez said Chairman Brillantes will be back on Manila on Monday, October 21, 2013, to report and make a recommendation to the COMELEC En Banc on the issue of possible postponement of the Barangay Elections slated for October 28, 2013. ###

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PRESS RELEASE
Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: September 26, 2013

COMELEC disqualifies Laguna Gov. E.R. Ejercito for poll overspending

comeleclogo_largeCommission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. today announced that the poll body’s 1st Division resolved to disqualify incumbent Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “E.R.” Ejercito for campaign overspending.

Brillantes told reporters that Ejercito spent over P6 Million in television advertisement alone. As candidate for the Province of Laguna, Brillantes stressed that Ejercito is only allowed to spend the total amount of P4.5 Million for his entire campaign for the May 13, 2013 national and Local Elections.

The Province of Laguna has a total of 1,525,522 registered voters for the May 13, 2013 Elections.

To recall, the COMELEC on January 15, 2013 promulgated Resolution No. 9615, stating among others, the authorized expenses of candidates and political parties.

Section 5 of COMELEC Resolution No. 9615 or the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9006 otherwise known as the ‘Fair Elections Act’ in connection with the May 13, 2013 elections, states that the aggregate amount that a candidate or party may spend for election campaign shall be “three pesos (P3.00) for every voter currently registered in the constituency where the candidate filed his certificate of candidacy.”

The COMELEC Chairman said the poll body’s order disqualifying an elected Provincial Official shows the COMELEC’s resolve to level the playing field in the electoral process.

“Hindi po kami nagbibiro,” the COMELEC Chief said, adding that the poll body is readying several other election offense cases against erring candidates.

Brillantes however, noted that respondent Ejercito still has five (5) days to file a Motion for Reconsideration before the COMELEC.

For the May 13, 2013 elections, Ejercito garnered a total of 549,310 votes and was proclaimed by the COMELEC on May 17, 2013. ###

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