May 2010 poll automation, a lasting legacy for the nation
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will leave a lasting legacy for the nation's democracy should she fulfill her electoral pledge to automate the May 2010 presidential elections, Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today said.
Gordon, author of the Amended Automated Elections Law, said it would be a great legacy for the nation and the Filipino people if the Arroyo administration could clean up the electoral system through the full automation of the May 2010 elections.
"Time and again, past presidents promised but failed to automate the elections. The people no longer want to hear promises but rather see results. Any administration who could realize the full automation of elections would leave a lasting legacy," he said.
Gordon, former chairman of the Senate constitutional amendments, revisions of codes ad laws committee, noted that the automation of the electoral process is included in President Arroyo's 10-point agenda.
The senator urged Malacañang to have the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) submit to Congress the supplemental budget for the automation of the 2010 elections as soon as Congress resumes its session on Jan. 19.
He said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should now start preparing for the poll automation since there is not much time left to have everything done appropriately. However, he added that the poll body cannot do so without the necessary budget.
"There's still a lot to be done for the full automation of the May 2010 elections. Aside from the acquisition of the electronic voting and counting machines, the Comelec must organize teachers' training and nationwide voters' education," Gordon said.
"We must always put into mind that the election automation would realize our dream of having an honest, clean and credible election. But the continued delay in providing the necessary funds will only cause further setback for the Comelec," he added.
The Comelec has reportedly reduced the proposed budget for poll automation to P13.9-billion after some senators rejected the P21-billion supplemental budget the poll body submitted to the DBM.