An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said she wanted a stricter policy in the accreditation of party-list organizations that are looking to represent marginalized sectors at the House of Representatives in the May 2022 polls.
“We have been very liberal with some groups. We are going to be strict. I am going to be strict now. That is the result of this issue (of former National Youth Commission Chairperson Ronald Cardema). Tell the Party-List Coalition that I am going to be very strict now with registration,” Commissioner Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon said in a statement Monday.
At the same time, she noted that she will ask other commissioners to do the same in approving accreditations of party-list groups.
“If they do not meet the documentary requirements, or they lack the requirements, I will deny their registration,” Guanzon said.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Audit has called the attention of the Comelec to “immediately liquidate” its P1.637-billion cash advance, including P1.202 billion used during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in 2018.
State auditors sent a management letter to Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, informing him of unliquidated advances worth P1.418 billion used for payroll, official local and foreign travels and other undertakings and cash advances in previous years worth P219.184 million.
Special disbursing officers ate up P1.457 billion, while P179.884 million went to officers and employees.
Out of the money that went to special disbursement officers, P1.202 billion were cash advances granted for the May 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls.
The amount remained unliquidated for over 180 days as of Dec. 31, 2018, a violation of Presidential Decree 1445.
“Repeated unjustified failure to comply with the requirements imposed in this code shall be conclusive proof that the public officer concerned is notoriously undesirable,” the formal communication sent to Comelec read.
The liquidation reports for cash advances of P1.508 billion were transmitted beyond the due date for liquidation from one day to 252 days.
Aside from adopting strict rules, Guanzon said she was also looking to introduce additional requirements which include the use of names of popular politicians as names of the party-list group.
“Those party-list groups, which use the name of any politician or living person, must have the consent of that person under oath,” the Comelec commissioner added.
She said that they would also require groups to disclose upon registration their sex-disaggregated data.
“How many men? How many women? How many LGBTs?” Guanzon added. PNA, Rio N. Araja