MANILA — An election watchdog expressed support for Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s proposed bill for a hybrid election system in the country.
National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) chairman Gus Lagman noted that he has been pushing for such kind of election system during his time as a Commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“I designed a hybrid system that Namfrel has sent to the Senate, House, and some media outlets. So, obviously, I do support that kind of system,” he said in an interview Tuesday.
The head of the election watchdog added that he is willing to explain the system to the concerned group or people.
Lagman added that under the hybrid election system, there will be manual voting and counting while the transmission and canvassing will be automated.
“It will become more transparent and more accurate, therefore, more credible,” he said.
At the same time, the Namfrel official is hoping that the measure will be passed into law and will be implemented as early as the 2022 presidential elections.
The Comelec had previously rejected the concept of a hybrid election system, noting that it is against the Election Automation Law or Republic Act 9369.
On Monday, Sotto filed the Hybrid Election Bill as part of his 10 priority measures in the 18th Congress.
In 2015, Lagman presented the Precinct Automated Tallying System (PATaS) as an alternative to the automated election system.
He explained that PAtaS is a semi-automated system: manual voting and counting in polling precincts, and automated canvassing through electronic transmission of election returns.