Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sulu Vows Support To COMELEC, Poll Reforms

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 28, 2008) - Sulu Governor Sakur Tan has pledged to support efforts by the national government for poll reforms and transparency, including the modernization of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

He said the COMELEC has been in the forefront of clean and honest elections and the computerization of polls in the country, especially in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to which Sulu belongs.

Tan said they closely coordinating with the COMELEC for the registration of voters in the August elections in the ARMM and to ensure peaceful and honest polls.

Romeo Brawner, former Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals, is the current COMELEC chairman.

"We are supporting efforts of the COMELEC for clean and honest elections and the computerization of polls in the country or at least in the ARMM," Tan said.

Tan said he was impressed with Brawner's plans for the COMELEC which includes the Implementation of Republic Act 8436 as amended by Republic Act 9369 or the Automated Election System Project, particularly the proposed automation of the August 2008 ARMM polls.

He said Brawner, in his 10-point agenda for COMELEC, pledged to carry out new general registration of voters and also the cleansing of list of all registered voters; improvement of the judicial functions of the Commission and a thorough revision of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure.

Brawner said there should be an institution of a system for the raffle and assignment of poll-related cases and speedy disposition of these cases; review of the COMELEC organizational structure; increase in the salary and compensation package of COMELEC employees and the institutionalization of programs and activities for human resource development.

Brawner is also proposing for the institutionalization of a health and welfare package and program for COMELEC employees and to strengthen ties with other election stakeholders, according to Tan.

He said the COMELEC is also working to enhance voters' education and information campaign and other infrastructure projects needed by the poll body. (With a report from Nickee Butlangan)

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