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COMELEC eyeing an automated 2010 election

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) bared its strategic directions for 2010 with emphasis on the modernization of the electoral process and the empowerment of the electorate towards a vibrant democracy.

The Comelec’s strategic direction in time for the nation’s presidential, vice presidential, congressional, local, and party-list elections in 2010 was based on the memorandum of Atty. Esmeralda Amora Ladra, Director 3 of the Planning Department, called "Operation: Merit: Modernization and Electoral Reforms with Integrity and Transparency. "

The strategic directions include the strengthening of the Comelec as a constitutional office, rationalization and codification of election laws, modernization of the electoral processes, effective and continuing voter education, and strategic partnerships with election stakeholders.

Acting Chairman Resurreccion Z. Borra recommended to the Comelec en banc the approval of the strategic directions to 2010 and said there are two areas in the electoral system that should be computerized, the voters registration system and the counting and canvassing processes.

"Both are important to ensure clean, honest, and orderly elections," Borra pointed out, adding that "this will enable the Comelec to come up with truly cleansed and updated voters’ lists through the use of automated fingerprint identification system, ensure the accuracy of the voters’ lists and safeguard the integrity of the voters records, increase voters’ turnout, and reduce the number of disenfranchised voters."

Borra said this will also develop and maintain voters’ trust and confidence in the integrity and accuracy of the voters’ lists and records.

The strategic directions to 2010 likewise call for the establishment of a Comelec training and development center with a future plan to become an Election Management Academy similar to the Supreme Court’s Judicial Academy.

"This will be designed to professionalize Comelec officials and personnel by requiring them to undergo specialized trainings before they assume office or are promoted to higher office," Ladra said.