General voter listing in ARMM approved

Posted on May 22, 2012

THE HOUSE of Representatives yesterday cleared the way for the conduct of a general voter listing in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) after it concurred with the Senate that earlier approved the Palace-endorsed proposal.

Congressmen approved the proposed annulment of the book of voters in ARMM.

The region groups Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.

The Senate approved Joint Resolution No. 17 last week. Following the House concurrence, the proposal will be up for signing by President Benigno S. C. Aquino III.

The President has called for the immediate passage of Senate Joint Resolution No. 17 and House Joint Resolution No. 29 in a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House dated May 15.

"[This is] to address the urgent need to immediately purge the Book of Voters in the ARMM and to effect a general registration of voters, in time for the May 2013 synchronized ARMM and national elections, to implement the much needed electoral reforms and ensure a free, orderly and honest elections as mandated by the Constitution...," Mr. Aquino stated. Regional elections will coincide with the May 2013 midterm polls.

Last week, the House committee on appropriations approved the funding for the general registration of voters in ARMM worth around P550 million.

The committee chairman, Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya (1st district), said on Sunday that there is a need to augment the budget by P180 million.

Most of the budget will be spent on buying around 1,000 registration machines, said Comelec Director James Arthur B. Jimenez, who is also spokesman. -- MJOC