By Leslie Aquino
The period for the ban on public works in relation to the October 26 polls for congressmen for the First and Second Legislative Districts of Southern Leyte, and the First and Third Legislative Districts of South Cotabato, starts Wedenesday, September 11.
In Resolution No. 10557, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said construction of public works, delivery of materials for public works and issuance of treasury warrant or similar devices for a future undertaking, chargeable against public funds shall be prohibited from September 11 to October 25.
Also prohibited is the release, disbursement or expenditures of public funds.
The appointment or hiring of new employees, creation or filling up of new positions; promotion or giving of salary increases, remuneration or privilege are also prohibited as well.
Based on Section 261 of the Omnibus Elections Code the said activities are prohibited 45 days before a regular election and thirty days before a special election.
Violating the said prohibitions shall be considered an election offense, which carries the penalty of one to six years imprisonment, removal of right to vote, and disqualification from holding public office.
The poll body earlier suspended the holding of elections for district representatives of these provinces to a date later than May 13, 2019 due to operational and logistical constraints, in view of the passage of laws reapportioning the said legislative districts.
Republic Act No. 11198 reapportioning Southern Leyte into two legislative districts became effective on February 19, 2019, while R.A. No. 11243 reapportioning the first legislative district of South Cotabato thereby creating the lone legislative district of General Santos City became effective on April 4, 2019.