MANILA, Philippines – Rain or shine, the 2019 midterm elections will push through on Monday (May 13).
State weather bureau PAGASA thus reminds the public to bring anything necessary to keep protected from the scorching heat or the possible downpour while queuing at polling precincts.
According to the forecast, the Northern and Central Luzon will experience good weather with higher temperatures expected in areas of Dagupan City, Tuguegarao City, and Isabela.
Heat index in said areas may soar to up to 40 °C so the public is advised to drink and bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration or heat stroke.
“Back doon sa fair weather and then mainit na temperature lalo na sa tanghali,” warned DOST-PAGASA Weather Specialist Benison Estareja.
It is also advisable to wear lightweight and light-colored clothes to remain comfortable.
Meanwhile, PAGASA advises residents in large areas in Visayas and Mindanao as the Intertropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ is expected to bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in the said areas on election day on Monday.
Residents in low-lying areas are advised to wear their most comfortable rain gear and boots to prevent contraction of water-borne diseases such as leptospirosis.
Voters are advised to bring their own food as it is prohibited to accept money and even food items from election candidates.
Based on the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) contingency plan, members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will have to ensure that no one remains inside the polling precincts in the event of an earthquake.
The Board of Election Inspectors (BOI), meanwhile, will have to secure the vote counting machines and election ballots in cases of emergencies.
“What do you do with the ballots that are already on the tables? They cannot be brought out certainly. The police are under instruction to secure the polling place if, for instance, the VCMs cannot be taken out or the VCMs cannot be protected then the school is locked down,” explained Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez.
Jimenez clarified, however, that in the event of calamities, the poll body can always declare a failure of election depending on the extent of its effects. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)