Total overhaul of Omnibus Election Code needed for electoral reforms—Tolentino

Senator Francis Tolentino said a total overhaul of the Omnibus Election Code is needed in order to put into effect the country’s much-needed electoral reforms.

Tolentino said he believes the time has come for a total overhaul of the country’s electoral system, stating that piecemeal amendments to the OEC would not suffice anymore.

The senator noted that the advancement in technologies account for some of the changes that should be included in electoral reforms.

“So yung total overhaul na. Siguro isa-alang alang na din yung teknolohiya ngayon, yung makabagong teknolohiya para maging efficienta at mabilis (So it should be a total overhaul. We also need to consider the technology nowadays, modern technology, in order to be efficient and fast),” Tolentino said in a recent interview.

He also believed elections can be conducted for multiple days and not just simultaneously in one day.

“At tsaka siguro kung babaguhin yan, naiisip ko din yung gawing hindi simultaneous na isang araw para makakilos ang Commission on Elections (Comelec) (If we change it, I think we should consider not doing the elections simultaneously in just one day so the Comelec can freely move about),” he said.

Asked what specific improvements in the country’s electoral system that can still be pursued, the senator cited the need to respond to the seamen’s need to vote in the place where they are able to dock.

He also said it is high-time for the country to accept a hybrid election system, stating that while automated transmissions are quick and fast, the need for transparent manual counting process should also exist “side-by-side” with automation.