MANILA – Aside from presidential debates, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will also conduct debates for vice presidential and local candidates to give the voters more opportunity to know better the candidates in the 2016 national and local elections.
During the Senate finance committee deliberations on the Comelec’s proposed Php 15.6-billion budget for 2016, Comelec chairman Andy Bautista assured that debates will be held for the upcoming elections.
Bautista informed Senate finance committee chairperson Loren Legarda that the commission had allotted budget for the holding of the presidential debates.
He said three presidential debates will be held in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The Comelec chief said he had already instructed their provincial, city and municipal election officers to set debates for local positions.
Legarda recommended that Comelec should make sure that debates will be witnessed by majority of the electorate.
Bautista said a technical working group had been coordinating with the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) to air live, through radio and television, the presidential and vice presidential debates.
“It is time to change the king of politics in our country. The voters should learn how to choose candidates based on their platforms of government,” Bautista said.
The last time the Comelec held debates for presidential candidates was in the 1992 national elections.
It would be the third time the Philippines will be holding automated elections. The first was in 2010 when President Benigno Aquino III was elected as the 15th president of the Republic.