Comelec won’t pay 2022 poll debate organizer

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star
Comelec wonât pay 2022 poll debate organizer
Individuals start lining up at the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Quezon City on December 12, 2022, the second day of the resumption of voters’ registration.
STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not pay Impact Hub Manila P15.3 million for organizing the Pilipinas Debates 2022 because it reportedly failed to submit the required documents.

In a two-page letter dated May 19 and sent to Impact Hub’s legal counsel Ma. Karla Denise Frias, Comelec executive director Teopisto Elnas Jr. said that the poll body denied the company’s claim since “upon evaluation, Impact Hub’s demand for payment is not accompanied by the documentary requirements necessary to establish the validity of claim.”

In the letter, Elnas also pointed out that the agreement was for the series of debates to be free of charge.

He noted that records show the Comelec entered into a memorandum of agreement with Impact Hub on March 7, 2022 for the debates “free of charge of professional services, exclusive of out of pocket expenses, if any.”

The project was awarded to Impact Hub on April 18, 2022.

The Comelec partnered with Impact Hub to produce the five-debate series of Pilipinas Debates 2022 for presidential and vice presidential candidates, with Sofitel Philippine Plaza as the venue of the event.

However, the last two debates were rescheduled and eventually canceled by the Comelec after Impact Hub reportedly encountered financial issues with Sofitel.

Then Comelec education and information department director James Jimenez reportedly gave his vote of confidence to Impact Hub and said that the commission would release the P15.3 million.


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