Palace: Comelec has money for 2013 automated polls

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Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes has raised a howl over the drastic cut in budget allocation the Comelec may receive in the 2013 General Appropriations Act where its budget was slashed from P24 billion to P8 billion. Brillantes warned that with this cut, the Comelec may have to revert to manually counting ballots in next year?s elections. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the poll body can tap into its savings to augment its regular budget and hold the automated counting of election returns in next year?s midterm elections. ?I think Comelec should look into their savings. I think they have substantial savings in their budget,? Lacierda said. He added that during his discussion with Department of Budget and Management secretary Florencio Abad on the issue recently, the Abad informed him that Comelec has ample cash. ?They have enough savings. That should not be a problem. The automated elections (in 2013) will continue,? Lacierda said. ]]>

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