Co defends Php 12 billion hike in COMELEC budget
Co defends Php 12 billion hike in COMELEC budget
Co defends Php 12 billion hike in COMELEC budget
by Kristan Carag12 January 2024
Photo from House of Representatives website

Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co slammed allegations that the bicameral conference committee of the Congress added Php 12 billion to the budget of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC ) to fund the push for Charter Change.

Co, the chairperson of the House Appropriations Committee, said that the increase stemmed from an appeal made by COMELEC chairperson George Garcia to restore the budget of the agency.

The congressman explained that the Department of Budget and Management slashed the proposed Php 19.4 billion budget of COMELEC before the proposal reached Congress.

“Laking pasasalamat pa nga ng COMELEC and Chairman George Garcia to the Bicam team for accommodating their request. Maski sila pa ang tanungin nyo,” Co said in a statement.


The lawmaker added that the committee only approved an increase of Php 14 billion to the budget of COMELEC and not the entire Php 19.4 billion requested by the poll body.

Co also dared Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman to prove his accusations that the funds will finance the push to change the Constitution.

"Congressman [Joseph Steven] Caraps Paduano, who presided over that meeting, attests that such request was approved by the committee and reflected in the minutes. Was Congressman Lagman sleeping on the job that he missed it," he said.

"This is COMELEC’s budget. No other agency, not even Congress, can touch or release even one centavo of it. Is Congressman Lagman saying that Comelec commissioners would use those funds for charter change? If he can’t prove it, then he better shut up," stressed the lawmaker.


Co described the allegation of Lagman as "wild and irresponsible".

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