Malacanang has allotted P12.954 billion for the conduct of national and local elections next year under its proposed appropriations measure for 2016.
The P13-billion budget covers the automated national and local elections on May 9, 2016, and the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on Oct. 31, 2016.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad informed the House appropriations committee that P12.6 billion had already been set aside this year for the acquisition of additional automated voting machines and another P1.2 billion for other election-related expenses for the May 2016 polls.
Thus, the P6.26 billion allocation for May 9 will only be for the conduct of the elections itself, Abad pointed out.
The House appropriations committee is currently holding hearings on Malacanang’s proposed national budget for 2016.
According to Abad, the remaining P6.69 billion budget for the conduct of electoral exercises next year will be used as follows: P507 million for the SK registration process, P5.9 billion for the holding of the SK and barangay elections, and P193 million for Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) so Filipinos abroad can vote for the country's elective officials.
A total of P936 million has already been allotted this year in preparation for the SK polls and another P10 million for the OAV, Abad said.