COMELEC to suspend issuance of voter’s certification from Sept. 27-30

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2021   •   106

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Thursday announced it will suspend the issuance of voter’s certification in all Offices of the Election Officer (OEO) from Sept. 27 to 30 to devote the last week of voter registration solely for registration purposes.

“The commission anticipates an influx of last-minute registrants as we get closer to the deadline. And given the limited number of field personnel, we must endeavor to make the full use of our limited manpower and resources in catering to applicants for voter registration,” COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement.

The poll body said the suspension covers all OEOs, even those housed in barangay and mall registration sites where the COMELEC field personnel have temporarily set up their satellite offices.

Meanwhile, the COMELEC said that the issuance of voter’s certification in the main office in Intramuros, Manila will not be affected.

Registered voters from any locality in the Philippines may secure a voter’s certification at the COMELEC’s National Central File Division satellite office in Intramuros.

To apply for a voter’s certification, the applicant must present one valid ID and submit a photocopy of the same ID, and pay for the P75 fee.

The voter’s certification, however, is free of charge for senior citizens, persons with disability, members of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Cultural Communities, and solo parents.

“Applicants who are unable to apply for the certification personally may do so through an authorized representative, who must bear an authorization letter for that purpose. The representative must also present a valid ID and a photocopy of the same ID,” the poll body said.

COMELEC spox says vote buying a poll offense

Robie de Guzman   •   October 27, 2021

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez

MANILA, Philippines – Vote buying is an election offense “regardless of financial situation or noble intentions,” Commission on Elections (COMELEC) spokesperson James Jimenez said Wednesday.

Jimenez made the remark a day after Vice President Leni Robredo said that Filipinos should take the money being offered to them but still vote for their preferred candidate.

Robredo, a presidential aspirant and standard bearer of the opposition for the 2022 elections, on Tuesday said that Filipinos who are offered money in exchange for their vote should accept the money but still vote according to their conscience.

While vote buying is illegal, she said that individuals engaging in such act is hard to apprehend as it is not done in public and the money could now be transferred electronically.

She made the response when asked on the issue of vote buying during a forum with a group of household service workers who support her election bid.

“Lagi kong sinasabi, tanggapin niyo kasi galing sa inyo ‘yan. Pera ‘yan ng taumbayan. Pero iboto mo kung ano ang nasa konsiyensiya mo,” Robredo said.

But Jimenez countered Robredo’s statement.

“I disagree with the notion of taking the money and voting according to your conscience. Vote buying is an election offense regardless of financial situation or noble intentions,” he said.

“Di dapat ginagawa, at di dapat sina-suggest yan sa mga botante,” he added.

Under Omnibus Election Code, vote buying and vote selling are considered as election offense.

Election watchdog urges Comelec to expand coverage of local absentee voting

Maris Federez   •   October 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — An election watchdog group has appealed to the Commission on Elections to expand the sectors that will be covered by local absentee voting.

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) believes that expanding the coverage of the local absentee voting will help increase the voter turnout in the coming elections as this will guarantee a larger number of Filipinos being able to vote even before May 9, 2022.

“Palalawakin pa yong sectors na pwedeng bumoto including all our teachers na magsisilbi as our electoral boards. So pagpalagay natin during presidential election na ang voter turnout na aabot lang ng close to 70 percent ay umabot pa siya ng 80 percent,” said PPCRV trustee and secretary Dr. Arwin Serrano.

The local absentee voting is designed for those who are unable to go to the polling precincts on the actual day of the elections.

Among the sectors covered by the local absentee voting are members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, media, government officials and employees.

Voting will only be limited to national positions, including partylist representatives.

Serrano said they have already submitted their proposal to the Comelec and hope that this will be discussed during the en banc’s session.

Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10695, the last day of application for the local absentee voting is on March 7, 2022.

The voting period for absentee voters is from April 27 to 29. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

Comelec mulls over 3 set-ups of polling precincts in 2022 NLE

Maris Federez   •   October 26, 2021

Manila, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) wants to come up with the best precinct set-up for the 2022 national and local elections amid the pandemic.

For this, the commission is studying three layouts that can be used come election day.

The first layout is one that has a holding area and an adjacent room that will serve as a voting room.

The second layout will have three separate rooms for the holding area, voting room, and room with the vote-counting machine (VCM).

The third layout, on the other hand, is a single room that will serve as a holding area, a voting room, and the location of the VCM.

“It is a comparative study essentially. Titingnan natin kung anong mas efficient kung ‘yong VCM ay nakahiwalay na kwarto so that in one room puro fill up lang. Dito sa baba ang set up natin is fill up and actual use of the VCM in the same room,” said Comelec spokesperson Director James Jimenez.

Meanwhile, Comelec Executive Director for Operations Atty. Teopisto Elnas said that among the things for their consideration is the number of manpower to deploy that their budget can afford.

“Tinitingnan natin ngayon ‘yan. And, tinititingnan natin sa isang voting center ilan ang manpower requirements na kakailaganin natin and ibabangga natin yan sa current ano budget ng binibigay sa Comelec,” Elnas said.

The Comelec also plans to conduct several voting simulations as the need arises. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)


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