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Public works freeze ahead of polls to start March 29

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Palacio del Gobernador COMELEC
PHILSTAR

PUBLIC WORKS projects and some government disbursements will be frozen between March 29 and May 12 under election rules, the Commissin on Election said.

The Comelec, sitting en banc, released Thursday Resolution No. 10511 which outlines the ban on any activity relating to the construction of public works. Such activities include construction of the project; disbursement and spending of public funds; and delivery of materials.

The ban typically accompanies election periods, including the midterm election on May 13.

The Resolution, signed by Comelec Chairman Sheriff A. Abas, said violations of the resolution will be considered election offenses and “shall be punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year but not more than six (6) years, as provided by law.”

Public works under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) schemes are exempt from the ban. Non-infrastructure projects that pertain to social welfare and services are also not covered by the ban but are required to request a Petition of Exception from the Comelec Clerk.

The Comelec en banc also ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Commission on Audit (CoA) and its field offices to “(N)ot release or authorize the release of any appropriation, or to pass in audit payments or expenditures of public funds.” — Gillian M. Cortez