PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARCAS
MALACAÑANG on Thursday said the government is currently completing documentation on infrastructure projects it is seeking exempts for from the 45-day Commission on Elections (Comelec) ban on public works.
“We assure everyone that the economic managers are on top of the situation. They know what to do and they do not have to be told what steps they should undertake,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement.
“The Palace will follow all the requirements imposed by pertinent laws on the ban against public works,” he added.
He said President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s economic managers “in fact, requested the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for an exemption as early as February, a month before March 29 or when the ban took effect.”
He said various agencies are “now actively coordinating in order to submit the proper and complete documents for such purpose, as required of them by the Comelec.”
“Delays are indeed possible and they are inevitable at times, given the practical dynamics and legal dictates of our country, but these can be avoided or minimized with proper due diligence by those responsible therefor,” he said.
The Omnibus Election Code or Batas Pambansa 881 prohibits the government from disbursing public funds as well as delivering materials for public works 45 days before a regular election. For the May 13 mid-term elections, the ban on public works runs from March 29 to May 12. — Arjay L. Balinbin