Pangarungan says May 9 polls "surpassed expectations"

Published May 26, 2022, 4:33 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

For Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan the May 9 polls surpassed their expectations.

Comelec chairman Saidamen Pangarungan gives his message as the Comelec sitting en banc as the national board of canvassers proclaimed the 55 winning part-list representative groups held at PICC in Pasay City(Ali Vicoy)

He said this is in terms of peacefulness, speed, and turnout.

Still, Pangarungan said, the recently held polls was also not perfect.

“I will say also that this elections is not perfect. For the Comelec in particular, we still have a big big room for improvement,” he said in his welcome remarks during the proclamation of the winning party-lists Thursday, May 26, at the Philippine International Conventiin Center Forum Tent in Pasay City.

“I have been Chairman for 80 days and I saw how difficult it is to conduct an election for more than 65 million voters. Many claim that this is the only thing we do but I think it must also be stressed this is an extremely difficult operations to manage,” added Pangarungan.

He then implored his fellow workers in the Comelec to work harder and smarter in the pursuit of more efficient, more credible and more inclusive elections.

“We shall continue to streamline our processes and professionalize. Let us do all of this together, as a united Commission, with the help of all of our partners and stakeholders,” Pangarungan said.

In a television interview, Comelec Commissioner George Garcia also gave the recent polls an 8.5 mark out of a possible 10.

“I’ll give it an 8.5. It’s not perfect. Only 8.5 as there is much room for improvement on the part of the Comelec,” he said.

Among those cited by Garcia as needing improvement are information technology, training of personnel to mention a few.

A day before, he said he believes it is also high time for Congress to consider making changes in Republic Act. No. 7941 or the “Party-List System Act.”

Garcia said the reforms should include the necessary formula in computing the seat allocation for winning party-lists saying the present formula being used was merely based on the one provided by the Supreme Court (SC).

“The law didn’t provide the formula. The Comelec should already know how to compute the seats,” he said in a press briefing.

“The Supreme Court will always interpret the law. But what if there is no formula in the law? It had no choice. So the SC offered a formula,” added Garcia.