UNTV News : Senator recommends pilot of hybrid elections for 2022 national polls

By Aileen Cerrudo | UNTV News

MANILA, Philippines — In preparation for the 2022 national elections, Senator Imee Marcos has recommended conducting a pilot run of the hybrid elections in four areas.

Marcos made the recommendation during the Senate Hearing for the proposed Hybrid Election Act. The hybrid elections will be a combination of manual counting of votes and an automated election system. This is “to ensure transparency and credibility of the electoral process.”

“Basically, we’re not very ambitious with this. But like every electoral innovation, we could start with a pilot. We just do four areas. Two rural, two urban, possibly Luzon and Mindanao, one very populous, one less populous. Something fairly representative just to get it started,” she said.

Under the said measure, a recount will be conducted if there is at least a 2% discrepancy in the vote results.

According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), they will leave the decision for the hybrid elections to Congress.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said the agency is open to coodinating with Congress regarding the proposed law.

“I feel obliged that this is only in the Senate as of the moment. As such, kapag humihingi sila ng information sa atin (when they request for information) then we provide the technical information that we were asked for. And for this particular case, ang hiningi na information sa amin is budget (the information they ask is about the budget),” he said.

“I don’t know how they run up to the actual implementation, kung magbabago pa iyan (if it will still change). But as proposed, it sounds doable,” Jimenez added.

Comelec said the new guidelines for the 2022 national elections will be released in two to three weeks. The new guidelines would include protocols amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and prolonging voting hours. The needed budget in preparation for the elections amounted to at least P12 billion. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)