Press Release
March 3, 2009

It's full speed ahead for full poll automation in 2010 - Gordon

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today expressed confidence that the full automation of the May 2010 presidential elections will go full speed ahead, adding that the P11.3-billion supplemental budget is expected to sail through smoothly in the Senate.

Gordon, author of the Amended Automated Elections Law, said he is confident that the supplemental budget will be passed in the Senate before Congress goes on its Lenten break starting March 7.

"We are going full speed and full automation because sa Senado siguradong papasa na yan. No need for a special session para i-ratify at kayang-kayang maipasa hanggang bukas," he said.

"If I remember correctly, parang conditional yung aming approval, condition na malakad ng Comelec (Commission on Elections) sa Lower House na alisin yung colatilla. E naalis na yung colatilla e. pwede ng i-adopt in toto," he said.

Gordon explained that the formal report from the House of Representatives will be scrutinized during the Senate plenary to determine if there are conflicting provisions. Should there be none then the Senate would adopt the bill.

"Wala nang Joint Bicameral Committee para i-reconcile yung House bill at Senate bill. Pagka sinabing approve na doon at wala namang conflicting provisions, tuloy-tuloy na yun," he said.

The House of Representatives have passed last night on third and final reading the P11.3-billion proposed budget that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would need to implement Republic Act (RA) 9369 or the Amended Automated Elections Law, which prescribes full automation of the country's electoral exercise.

Meanwhile, the Comelec welcomed the development as a big boost to the poll body's efforts to ensure automated elections in 2010.

Gordon said that with the passage of the supplemental budget, there would be no reason for the Comelec not to implement the full automation of the 2010 elections as prescribed by RA 9369.

"There can be no other excuse anymore na wala silang pera, ngayon may pera na. Wala ng dahilan kaya tuloy tuloy na yan," he said.

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