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COMELEC cited for 2016 reform measures for the Philippine election

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections’ reform measures for the 2016 National and Local elections were highly commended at the House of Representatives. COMELEC Chairman Andres D. Bautista addressed the Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms of the House of Representatives, last Monday, November 21, 2016 and gave an exhaustive assessment and evaluation of the 2016 National and Local Elections.
Chairman Bautista presented the accomplishments of the Commission, particularly in securing a credible election with an enhanced voter experience. He cited the all time high voter turnout of 81.95%. Bautista presented key result areas and performance indicators as measured by the performance scorecard he introduced such as improved technology, enhanced voter education, increased system safeguards, high voter turnout, and expanded voter care services.
Chairman Bautista likewise stressed that an important factor that ensured the success of the 2016 elections can be attributed to the active involvement and cooperation of key stakeholders through mechanisms introduced by the Commission. In ending his presentation, Bautista enumerated positive remarks from civil society groups, research organizations and other election watchdogs affirming and validating the gains of the recently concluded election. Members of the House Committee praised the Commission under Bautista’s leadership for ensuring a transparent, credible, and inclusive election. Electoral Reform and Suffrage Committee Chair Rep. Sherwin Tugna, expressed his gratitude to the relentless efforts of the Commission as evidenced by the positive data presented to the committee.
Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro likewise praised the Commission’s efficiency, which according to him, is bereft of any form of insincerity. Meanwhile, Cebu Rep. and Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia, affirmed the credibility of the elections, citing that the 2016 elections was a far cry from the two previous automated elections as regards the security features of the ballots and the Vote Counting Machines. Recognizing the accomplishments of the Commission, Deputy Speaker and Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo expressed that the 2016 elections can be considered as the new bar and standard within which we can measure election credibility.
Chairman Bautista for his part ensured the Committee that further needed reforms are on its way not just in preparation for the midterm election in 2019 but for the 2022 elections thereafter.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.