Press Release
November 24, 2011

Senate creates two new committees

The Senate adopted two resolutions Wednesday creating the Select Oversight Committee on Suffrage and the Committee on Amateur Competitiveness Sports.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto, who introduced Resolution 652, said the creation of a Select Oversight Committee on Suffrage would address electoral system reforms in the country.

The Committee on Suffrage, Sotto explained, will assess the flaws in the electoral system and recommend legislative remedies besetting the country's elections. It will also review, oversee and conduct necessary studies on election-related issues.

"Eradicating election fraud and similar controversies is crucial for the stability of the country," Sotto stressed.

Sotto said the implementation of the first computerized local and national elections in May 2010 also needs to be evaluated.

"We need to assess the implementation of the computerized elections to find out its vulnerability to cheating as well as revisit existing election rules and regulations on poll automation," he added.

Likewise, Sotto said, the Absentee Voting Law should be reviewed.

"Since the Absentee Voting Law was passed eight years ago, it appears that the objective of encouraging Filipino Residents and Overseas Foreign Workers to participate in the electoral process is ineffective. Absentee Voting in the last election had a very low-turn out with only 81,732 voters participating out of the total 589,830 overseas Filipinos registered," Sotto explained.

Sotto, who is also principal author of Resolution 653, which separates the Committee on Sports from the Committee on Games and Amusement, said issues dealing with amateur sports should be taken independently of games and amusements.

"It is high time for the Senate to provide legislative attention to the affairs of amateur sports as an independent committee to improve the stature of our sports delegations and become world class athletes," Sotto said.

Sotto lamented the fact that Filipino athletes had only garnered nine medals in the Olympic Games since 1928, an average rank of 14th and 18th place in the Asian Games since 1951 and a 4th position in the Southeast Asian Games since 1977.

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