Palawan plebiscite ‘dry run’ for 2022 polls, says Comelec

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—The Fee on Elections (Comelec) is trying on the plebiscite in Palawan province on Saturday as a “kind of dry run” for the 2022 nationwide elections to find out the potential of the ballot physique to carry an electoral train throughout a pandemic, when well being and safety restrictions are tight.

“Due to the pandemic, we will say that it may be a dry run for the holding of the 2022 elections when it comes to security and safety features. We are going to see how ready is the Comelec, the individuals and our accomplice businesses to conduct the 2022 elections,” Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr. stated right here on Thursday.

A part of the preparation was a briefing for members of the board of election canvassers on learn how to handle the plebiscite course of whereas complying with well being protocols, corresponding to sustaining bodily distance inside and outside voting precincts, and guaranteeing that bottles or dispensers of alcohol for sanitizing arms can be found in these areas, ballot officers stated.

Voters and everybody concerned within the plebiscite can be required to put on masks always.

“The carrying of face masks is obligatory, whether or not they’re poor or wealthy,” stated Teopisto Elnas Jr., Comelec deputy government director for operations.

Well being declaration

Elnas, nevertheless, stated carrying of face shields would solely be “inspired,” as there have been voters from the province’s indigenous communities who couldn’t afford to purchase these.

“We all know that Palawan is split by islands. There isn’t a provide of face shields of their areas, which could be the rationale for them to not take part. [There are] individuals from the mountains, our native brothers, who can’t [even] afford to purchase rice. That is additionally for his or her equal rights,” he stated.

Every voter can be required to fill out a well being declaration kind at well being stations to be arrange in voting facilities.

Isolation tents or rooms can be arrange in every voting heart for many who would register physique temperature larger than 37.5 levels Celsius, or those that would exhibit different signs related to coronavirus an infection, Elnas added.

The ballots have all been delivered besides these meant for 281 voters of Kalayaan, the nation’s final frontier city within the West Philippines Sea.

“We have now a contingency plan. A ship will ferry the ballots [to Kalayaan] tomorrow (Friday),” Kho instructed reporters right here.

No untoward incident

Lawyer Urbano Arlando, provincial election supervisor, stated they’d not obtained any “untoward incident” within the run-up to the plebiscite, noting that ballot officers have been hoping it could keep that means.

Police Lt. Col. June Rian, spokesperson for the Palawan police, stated no election sizzling spots had been recognized within the province.

However Cynthia Sumagaysay del Rosario, lead campaigner for One Palawan Motion (OPM), earlier stated her group obtained stories of vote-buying.

Lawyer Christian Jay Cojamco, head of the authorized group of Partidong Pagbabago ng Palawan that’s supporting the cut up, dismissed Del Rosario’s declare and dared her to point out proof to again the allegation.

Comelec officers stated they have been anticipating not less than half of the 490,639 registered voters to affix the train that might resolve the destiny of Republic Act No. 11259, the legislation dividing the province into Palawan del Norte, Palawan del Sur and Palawan Oriental. A low turnout wouldn’t, nevertheless, have an effect on the end result of the train, because the ratification or rejection of the division can be determined by the full variety of votes solid, native election officers earlier stated.

Kho requested Palawan residents to be “affected person” because the plebiscite can be completed manually, with the tally of the outcomes anticipated to be accomplished by March 16.

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