PNP chief orders cops to ensure orderly voter’s registration as deadline nears

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021   •   297

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Friday directed police personnel to ensure the implementation of peace and order, and public health protocols in various sites as the deadline for the voter’s registration nears.

Eleazar issued the directive following reports of crowding and long lines in registration sites with only one week left before the registration closes.

He said police commanders should deploy enough number of personnel in various COMELEC registration sites to ensure the peaceful conduct of registration amid the threat of COVID-19.

Local police offices and units should also coordinate with local government units for the assistance they could provide once deployed in various registration sites.

The voter’s registration for the 2022 national and local elections is set to end on Sept. 30.

There have been calls and bills filed before the Congress to extend it until October, but the Comelec has yet to decide on the matter.

PNP assessing need to deploy more cops in NCR public areas – Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Monday said he has directed all unit commanders in the National Capital Region (NCR) to continue to assess the need for the deployment of additional police officers in public areas.

Eleazar issued the directive following the downgrading of COVID-19 alert in the NCR to level 3.

The PNP chief noted that in the first weekend of the Alert Level 3 implementation, a number of people flocked to public areas including churches across the metro, the Dolomite Beach at the Baywalk, the Marikina River Park, the Quirino Grandstand, and the Mall of Asia grounds.

A number of people also went outside for their outdoor exercises, he added.

“I have tasked all concerned police offices to determine if there is a need to deploy more cops to enforce the minimum health standards. Kailangang matiyak pa rin natin ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan dahil baka ito na naman ang pagmulan ng pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa NCR,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Kung gusto nating tuloy-tuloy ang pagbaba ng bilang ng natamaan ng COVID-19, kailangang mapairal pa rin ang disiplina at pagsunod sa mga panuntunan sa ilalim ng Alert Level 3. Hindi dahil may pagluluwag na nagaganap, magsisilabasan na tayo sa ating mga tahanan at babalewalain na ang health and safety protocols,” he added.

Meanwhile, Eleazar said they would wait for the decision of the government’s task force for COVID-19 response regarding the mobility of minors amid the easing of some protocols and opening of more business establishments.

“Kami sa PNP ay tagapagpatupad lamang ng mga batas at regulasyon. Hihintayin namin kung ano ang magiging resolusyon nila sa bagay na ito at amin itong ipapatupad nang maayos,” he said.

The capital region will be under Alert Level 3 until Oct. 31.

Under Alert Level 3, the public’s movement, including intrazonal and interzonal travel, will be allowed except for reasonable restrictions based on age and co-morbidities as determined by the local government units.

Individual outdoor exercises will also be allowed for all ages regardless of vaccination status or co-morbidities.

More establishments will also be allowed to re-open at a maximum of 30 percent capacity.

Comelec en banc to tackle calls to extend overseas voter registration

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc is set to discuss on Wednesday the recommendation to extend the overseas voter registration that ended on October 14.

Some overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) said they still have not registered due to the limited days that they are free from work.

Senator Imee Marcos said many OFWs, particularly in Hong Kong and Macau who confused the deadline set for overseas voter registration with the deadline set for the voter registration in the Philippines which is October 30.

“Given the confusion brought about by COVID, the numerous extensions and difficulties in travel of our OFWs, I was urging the Comelec, and I reiterate this plea, that we extend at least two weekends in the most populous or the consulates with the most Filipinos.”

Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas, meanwhile, said they will have to discuss the matter in the next en banc session.

“Pag-uusapan namin kung kaya pa namin ii-stretch yung sa OFOV (Office for Overseas Voting). Stretched na stretched na po siya pero i-try pa rin namin, magandang idea ‘yun your honors na we will cater dun lang sa parang pinaka NCR nila, yung pinakamaraming na hindi pa nakapagrehistro,” Abas said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Comelec targets at least 350K additional new voters from extended deadline of registration

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) expects to hit the target of additional 350,000 to 500,000 new voters with the extension of the deadline for voter registration to October 30.

To date, the country has registered 63.6 million Filipinos to qualify to vote in the coming elections. Around 6.1 million of whom are newly registered voters and 700,000 are reactivated voters, based on Comelec data from August 2019 to September 2021.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon hopes to have more registration areas activated to reduce long lines in existing Comelec sites.

He also urged those who have yet to register not to wait for the last minute to do so.

Meanwhile, several senators support Comelec’s request to have the amount that was removed from their proposed budget be reverted.

Comelec said this will give more leeway for them to ensure safe elections in 2022 amid the continuing threats of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The budget recommended by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the commission to use in 2022 is only Php26.7-billion from their original request of Php42-billion, which senators find too small.

“The Comelec budget is simply too small to COVID-proof the election. And if we say it is a high cost to bear, the price of a failed presidential election in these difficult times will be even more costly to the nation,” said Senator Imee Marcos.

Comelec said that reverting the fund to their original request will also ensure that teachers will be able to receive higher honoraria in rendering services during the elections.

Meanwhile, Comelec is set to conduct simulation activities for the 2022 elections on October 23. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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