The Commission on Elections (Comelec) approved a poll ban exemption on the government’s fuel subsidy distribution program to public utility vehicle operators and drivers ahead of the October Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).
The petition was filed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), requesting exemption from the spending ban from September 15 to October 30.
“By virtue of the authority granted upon me under COMELEC Resolution No. 10944, promulgated on 09 August 2023, the recommendation of the Law Department is hereby approved,” Comelec chairman George Garcia stated in a memorandum.
The poll body issued Resolution 10944, prohibiting the “releasing, disbursing, or spending of public funds for social welfare projects” from September 15 until the day of the BSKE.
Garcia told reporters in a Viber message that their commitment is to approve petitions as soon as possible.
“A day of delay may mean life and death to the families of our poor public utility drivers. Hindi tayo dapat makadagdag sa kanilang paghihirap [We shouldn’t add up to their struggles],” said Garcia.