Election is considered the largest, most costly and most administratively and logistically burdensome operation at a national level that a single country could ever undertake in times of peace. It encompasses a complex and large-scale set of operations, which involves a multitude of activities and sub-activities. They include delivery of professional trainings to thousands of employees and officials and deputized government agencies. It requires financial control, procurement of hundreds of single items in enormous quantities, introduction of regulations, promulgation of legal reforms, registering voters, monitoring campaigns, developing voting and counting procedures, designing and implementing civic and voter education, liaising with stakeholders, dealing with security, adjudicating electoral disputes and much more. All of these have to be done with limited resources and within a framework and deadlines set by laws.
As such, election administration requires a great deal of planning and preparation to enable an election management body like the COMELEC to administer honest elections to produce election results that are credible. Inadequate planning often leads to problematic execution that compromises the credibility of the entire process and can even lead to failure of elections.
Strategic planning is a process of self-examination that allows an organization to map out its strategies in order to achieve its mission and vision based on the analysis of the present. It is one of the most widely used methods by any type of organization deciding to undertake a long-term planning exercise with a two-fold aim of enhancing its ability to anticipate and respond to needs that it will/may confront and conduct a structured and long-term institutional strengthening effort. Strategic planning, therefore, is an assessment tool, a planning tool and an implementation tool.
For organizations like COMELEC, which operates in difficult political, social and security environments, and with limited resources, strategic planning is a crucial tool for delivering credible elections. Through a strategic plan, it is able to define its strategy, or direction, and makes realistic decisions on allocating resources required to pursue the set strategy. Its adoption and implementation will help the COMELEC optimize its performance, deliver efficient and comprehensive services to voters, maximize use of often limited financial and human resources and strengthen itself as professional and credible institution of governance.
This is not the first time that the COMELEC has adopted and implemented a Strategic Plan. Past Strategic Plans include OPLAN MODEX and OPLANMERIT. All the lessons learned from the implementation of these past strategic plans were taken into account in the formulation of this plan.