MANILA – Senator Francis Tolentino favors a total revamp of the electoral system, saying partial or piecemeal amendments to the Omnibus Election Code will not solve problems.
In a news release on Sunday, Tolentino renewed the call for hybrid elections, stating that while quick and fast results are desirable and which automated transmissions can provide, a transparent but manual counting process should also exist side-by-side automation.
The existing Omnibus Election Code, according to Tolentino, was created in 1985 and the provisions do not adapt with the current situation anymore.
Tolentino said one of the issues he will look into is the disenfranchisement of seafarers who fail to cast their votes due to the nature of their work.
“’Yung mga seaman natin na nakasampa sa barko, pagkatapos pag nagpunta ka sa port, hindi din makaboto. Dumaong ka sa Rotterdam [Netherlands] na isang napakalaking port area. Ang boto mo ay sa The Hague. So ang layo. Mag bibiyahe ka pa so wala nang botohan. Milyon po ‘yan. Ganyan din siguro sa Hong Kong. Kailangan pumunta ka pa sa mga konsulada (Our seafarers can’t vote in just any port. For example they disembark in Rotterdam but the polling place is at The Hague. They’re far apart. There are millions like that. Maybe the case is similar in Hong Kong. Filipinos have to go to embassies to vote),” Tolentino said.
The Omnibus Election Code governs all election of public officers, referenda, and plebiscites. (With a report from Leonel Abasola/PNA)