Well being protocols usually adopted with few violations, watchdog says

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 13) — Hundreds of Palawan residents headed out on Saturday to vote on whether or not or to not divide the province into three – a historic occasion seen to offer a glimpse of how the 2022 nationwide elections would appear like amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nationwide Residents’ Motion for Free Elections, a watchdog licensed to watch the Palawan plebiscite, mentioned that normally, anti-coronavirus protocols had been adopted. The group, nonetheless, flagged a couple of violations.

“[P]erhaps on account of inclement climate in some municipalities, there have been cases when bodily distancing within the queues was not noticed because of the downpour firstly of voting,” NAMFREL mentioned in a preliminary assertion earlier than polls closed at 3 p.m. It didn’t point out which native authorities items lacked social distancing in some unspecified time in the future.

NAMFREL observers noticed some voters in Bataraza city violating the face masks and face protect requirement, whereas one other voting heart in Aborlan city didn’t have any medical personnel.

Underneath the principles of the Fee on Elections, these discovered with a temperature of not less than 37.5 levels Celsius or present different COVID-19 signs might be remoted.

READ: Palawan plebiscite: What you have to know

“For this electoral train and in preparation for the 2022 nationwide and native elections (NLE), NAMFREL is placing give attention to highlighting the effectiveness of the implementation of Comelec’s anti-Covid protocols, figuring out areas that could possibly be additional strengthened, and recommending measures to assist make sure the conduct of a safer 2022 NLE,” NAMFREL mentioned.

Nonetheless, it expressed concern over the vote shopping for in Brooke’s Level, the place residents got ₱200 to vote a sure means. It didn’t specify if the residents had been requested to vote for or in opposition to the cut up.

NAMFREL mentioned there was additionally some confusion on the voting precincts, however this can be on account of Comelec’s efforts to restrict the variety of voters to 200 per clustered precinct and solely 5 at a time. Nonetheless, the method “seems well-organized” with no vital delay, the election watchdog mentioned.

Photographs posted by Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez confirmed polling cubicles divided by plastic obstacles. “The brand new look of Philippine elections,” he mentioned in a single tweet.

The Comelec expects to complete canvassing votes on March 16. Comelec mentioned there are 490,639 registered voters, however voter turnout has not been decided. Republic Act 11259 or the “Constitution of the Provinces of Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur” states that these three provinces might be created upon a majority vote of residents from affected areas, excluding the capital and extremely urbanized metropolis of Puerto Princesa.

READ: Palawan plebiscite set for 2021 as COVID-19 job drive OKs well being protocols

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