CA confirms Garcia as Comelec chief, Nograles as CSC chair

By Wilnard Bacelonia

September 7, 2022, 4:34 pm Updated on September 7, 2022, 5:28 pm

<p>Commission on Elections Chairperson George Garcia (left), and Civil Service Commission Chairperson Karlo Nograles (right). <em>(PNA file photo) </em></p>

Commission on Elections Chairperson George Garcia (left), and Civil Service Commission Chairperson Karlo Nograles (right). (PNA file photo) 

MANILA – The Commission on Appointments (CA) approved on Wednesday the retention of both Commission on Elections (Comelec) ad interim chairperson George Garcia and Civil Service Commission (CSC) ad interim chairperson Karlo Nograles in their present positions.

During his deliberation, Garcia recalled the successful conduct of the recent 2022 national and local elections saying it had the highest voter turnout and the fastest in the history of the Philippines.

"This is but a little accomplishment on the part of the Commission on Elections. I was happy that I was a part of the Comelec at that time. We gained a lot of experience and of course, there were a lot of setbacks, but the experience and the learnings that we acquired from the 2022 elections are incomparable and we will definitely use that under your present leadership for the purpose of ensuring that the 2025 elections and elections after that, if not equal the 2022 election, at least we will be able to surpass the same," Garcia told the CA Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Offices chaired by Senator Cynthia Villar.

Pushing for reforms

Garcia, meanwhile, said he aims to surpass the achievements of the recently-concluded May elections.

“The Comelec shall undertake institutional reforms in advocating for more responsive election laws attuned to the times, establishing better measures for greater transparency, and opening channels for better engagement with our citizenry,” the poll body chief added.

He also expressed hope that the poll body's formidable workforce will be able to surpass challenges in the pursuit of clean and orderly elections.

“As we stand in front of ever-changing information and technological landscape, Comelec hopes to meet it with professional and competent personnel who will find the right balance of credibility and efficiency. These are required of us, and I also take this opportunity to remind the personnel of the Comelec, that we perform not just ordinary duties but duties mandated by no less than the Constitution,” Garcia said.

He also thanked the members of the CA.

“I continue to be humbled by the trust, confidence, and support bestowed upon this humble servant by our elected officials including those in the legislature,” Garcia added.

Garcia was first appointed as commissioner to the poll body in March by former President Rodrigo Duterte and was reappointed on July 22 by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Meanwhile, Nograles was also appointed by Duterte to chair the CSC on March 4, took his oath on March 7, and officially assumed his post as ad interim chairperson on March 8.

However, he was forced to step down upon the adjournment of the 18th Congress.

Nograles was also called and sworn in as chairperson of the CSC by President Marcos Jr. on June 30.

"In the combined period of more than five months that I have served as ad interim chair, I have seen the passion and dedication of our civil servants in the CSC to fulfill their mandate despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. This best exemplifies the various programs, policies, and accomplishments of our Commission since I assumed my post," he told the CA.

Nograles cited the safe on-site conduct of three civil service professional and sub-professional examinations in March, June and August of this year, among other CSC examinations.

The former Cabinet secretary of the Duterte administration said he is committed to working towards a CSC that is future-ready in public service delivery.

"This, we will achieve through better ways of doing business by modernizing the modes of service delivery through digitization and digitalization of systems and processes. Our mission is to take care of our civil servants and to civil service a truly rewarding and professional calling," Nograles said.

Both Garcia and Nograles will remain in their posts until Feb. 2, 2029.

According to the law, Comelec and CSC chairpersons shall be appointed by the President, with the consent of the CA, for a term of seven years without reappointment. (with Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)