The Commission on Elections will tackle en banc next week the call for the creation of a Comelec regional office in the Negros Island Region before the May 9 polls, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said yesterday.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said Monday that he has written to President Benigno Aquino Jr. and the Comelec calling for the appointment of an acting COMELEC regional director for NIR.
In his letters to the president, Comelec chairman Andres Bautista and its six commissioners, the governor also asked that a NIR Comelec office be created on or before the May 9 polls pursuant to Executive Order No 183 creating the NIR.
Teopisto Elnas Jr., director of the Comelec Election and Barangay Affairs Department, has recommended to the en banc the creation of the NIR regional office, Guanzon said.
The en banc required a study on costs and operating expenses and staffing pattern, and it will be resolved next Tuesday, she added.
All the deputized government agencies have established their interim regional offices in the NIR except for the Comelec with its Negros Occidental office still under Western Visayas and Negros Oriental office still under Central Visayas, Marañon pointed out.
Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo was set to make a similar request for an NIR Comelec office, he added.
Meanwhile, Guanzon said the Comelec en banc yesterday also junked the controversial plan to buy P26.55 million worth of “bib vest” for teachers serving as members of the Board of Election Inspectors in the May 9 polls.
Guanzon and commissioners Christian Lim, Luie Guia, Arthur Lim and Sheriff Abas opposed the purchase.
It is an unnecessary and extravagant expense, identification cards would serve the same purpose of identifying who the BEIs are, Guanzon said.
The teachers also said wearing the vest is degrading, she added.
Meanwhile, vote counting machines for the May 9 polls are set to arrive in Negros Occidental in the second or third week of April, Provincial Elections Supervisor Ian Lee Ananoria yesterday said.
About 2,580 VCM's are expected to arrive in Negros Occidental and a refresher course for board of election inspectors on their use will be conducted, he added.*CPG
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