Comelec to resume voter registration in NCR Plus on May 17

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 14, 2021   •   295

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will resume voter registration in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus on May 17.

In a Tweet on Friday (May 14), Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez announced that the schedule for the registration will be from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Quarantine classification in NCR Plus which includes Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan, has eased to general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

For those with appointments, applicants can contact the Comelec office they will register in or check the agency’s official Facebook page.

The voter registration was temporarily suspended after the NCR Plus was put under MECQ. This is to prevent the further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after the surge of cases. -AAC

Election watchdog says COC online filing is good, but fears rise of vote-buying via e-transfer apps

Maris Federez   •   June 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is mulling over online filing of certificates of candidacy for the coming elections after Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez said he will file a bill regarding this amid the pandemic.

Election watchdog, Kontra Daya, said the online filing of COCs is a good alternative, but added that authorities should guarantee the public that transparency will be preserved.

“Dapat pag-aralan  itong panukala na ito may bentahe naman kasi kung gawin ito online kasi yung visual spectable ng parada, pag pumunta ka sa tapat ng Comelec office ay mawawala at saka may risk kasi ng superspreader,” said Danilo Arao, Kontra Daya convener.

“Yung online na pagpa-file sana naman ay magkaroon mekanismo na parang transparent pa rin ‘yong proseso nito. Ang anomang datos na i-fill out sana online sana maging readily available yan sa publiko,” he added.

Kontra Daya also underscored the importance of providing access to independent groups allowing them to monitor and scrutinize pertinent data in the COC form, such as names, party affiliation, and the candidate’s desired position, for  purposes of transparency.

Arao also urges lawmakers to consider the status of the country’s internet connection in their deliberation on the proposed online filing of COCs, recommending a hybrid system wherein areas that have strong internet connection adopt the online filing, while those that have poor connectivity retain the face-to-face filing.

“Sana may paraan yung Comelec na makapagbigay ng mga kiosk o ng anomang mekanismo para atleast kung kinakailangan online yung submission ay may ganung mekanismo pa rin sa mga nagnanais na tumakbo pero walang internet,” he said.

Meanwhile, the group fears that possible vote-buying might still take place, specifically with the use of various electronic transfer applications.

They said gathering evidence on such practices is difficult especially when face accounts are used by the sender and the receiver.

The group also appeals to the public not to compromise their principle and to never let themselves fall prey to vote-buying.

“Yung susing salig talaga dito ay yung voter education ito ‘yong parati naming ginagawa kaya kapag may nag-iimbita sa amin magbigay ng seminar o mga workshop hinggil sa eleksyon  sa mga election hindi po talaga kami tumatanggi,” Arao said. —/mbmf (with details from Dante Amento)

DOH: Pagbabakuna sa NCR Plus areas, isa sa mga dahilan ng pagbaba ng kaso ng COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Unti-unti nang bumababa ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa National Capital Region (NCR) Plus, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Sa isang media briefing, sinabi ni DOH Epidemiology Bureau OIC-Director 3 Dr. Alethea de Guzman na isa sa mga  nakikitang dahilan ng pagbagal ng kaso ay ang patuloy na pagbabakuna kontra COVID-19.

Gayunman, iginiit ng opisyal na kailangan pa ring bantayan ang sitwasyon dahil nananatili pa itong “fragile” o maaari pa ring tumaas sa mga susunod na araw.

“Itong pagbaba ng kaso lalo na sa NCR Plus ay tinatawag naming ‘fragile’, ibig sabihin magkaroon po tayo ng superspreading events. It’s possible po talaga na dadami na naman, magkakarron tayo ng spike of cases,” ani De Guzman.

“The trends can go either way it can go up again or it can really go down,” dagdag pa niya.

Batay aniya sa monitoring ng DOH, may “plateauing” na o pagpatag ng mga kaso sa buong bansa simula ngayong buwan ng Hunyo.

Sa nakalipas na linggo, nasa mahigit 6,000 ang naitatalang average COVID-19 cases sa bansa kada araw habang nasa mahigit 800 sa NCR.

Bagaman hindi ito masyadong gumagalaw, sinabi ni De Guzman na kailangan pa itong mapababa at higit na bantayan ang paggalaw naman ng kaso sa ibang rehiyon.

“Maganda iyong naging performance ng NCR pero patuloy iyong pagbabantay sa kaniya,” ani De Guzman.

“Ito iyong panahon that we are closely monitoring each and every area so that we’ll see kung ano ang trend, kung nag-plateau siya. Higit na babantayan dahil baka bigla siyang mag-uptick or baka unti-unti siyang tumataas,” dagdag pa niya.

Nakakita naman ang DOH ng pagtaas ng kaso sa ilang probinsiya, lalo na sa Visayas at Mindanao.

Sa ngayon, nasa high risk ang classification ng Region 2, CARAGA, at Region 6 dahil sa mahigit 60 hanggang 70 porsiyentong average daily attack rate at hospital care utilization rate.

Upang makatulong sa pagbaba ng kaso sa naturang mga rehiyon, sinabi ni De Guzman na flexible naman ang pagtatalaga ng vaccine supply at maaaring magpasya ang National Vaccination Operations Center kung ilang porsyento sa vaccine supply ng bansa pwedeng ipadala sa isang lugar.

“We will review our high risk areas so that we can see the augmentation we can give. But I guess we need to level off that right now. Padating pa lang ang mga bakuna, so as soon as the vaccines arrive we will be able to augment especially dito sa high critical risk areas natin,” ang sabi ng opisyal.

“The reason why we want to increase allocation in high-risk areas, number one gusto natin, sino ba pina-prioritize sa bakuna? These are the health workers, we want them to be immediately vaccinated, because we don’t want an overwhelmed health system to be further overwhelmed by additional healthcare workers getting sick,” dagdag pa niya.

Muli ring pina-alalahanan ng DOH ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na istriktong ipatupad ang istriktong health protocols, pabilisin ang detection at isolation process upang maagapan ang hawaan ng COVID-19. RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

 

COMELEC to launch mobile registration app on June 15

Robie de Guzman   •   June 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A mobile application that aims to streamline the voter registration process will be launched on Tuesday, June 15, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said Monday.

In a statement, COMELEC said the launching of the Mobile Registration Form App will be held in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

The mobile app can be accessed with any smartphone even when offline, the poll body said.

“The launch of the mobile app is very timely in the face of mobility restrictions brought about by COVID-19, because you will only need a smartphone to accomplish the form. This will save time, effort and money that will otherwise be spent on going to a computer shop to download and print the form, or getting the form at the local COMELEC to fill it out manually,” said COMELEC Commissioner Marlon Casquejo, who conceptualized the project.

“A QR Code is generated upon successful accomplishment of the form. You must save the QR Code on your smartphone, and afterwards, you may visit your local COMELEC office to have your QR Code scanned and your biometrics taken,” he added.

The Mobile Registration Form App is downloadable through the link, bit.ly/MobileFormApp. It can also be shared offline from one Android smartphone to another through SHAREit or any other file-sharing application.

Once installed, the user may already apply for voter registration without need for internet connectivity.

COMELEC said that the app was rolled out in select pilot areas at the start of June.

“It is currently being implemented in more than 500 cities and municipalities nationwide, including National Capital Region (NCR), Cebu City and Davao City,” it added.

Steps on using the Mobile Registration Form App:

  • Open the mobile app, and tap “Get Started”
  • Select the desired type of application and tap “Proceed”
  • Input all the necessary personal information
  • Confirm your personal information by ticking the checkbox
  • Tap “Generate QR Code” and “Save” to save it in your phone gallery
  • Bring a valid ID upon visiting your local COMELEC office for your QR Code scanning.

“For any question or clarification about the mobile app, our Voter Care Center hotlines on mobile (+63 927 5595 926), Facebook (facebook.com/comelec.ph) and Twitter (twitter.com/COMELEC) are open to the public,” Spokesperson James Jimenez said.

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