Voter registration in MECQ areas to open on Sept. 6 – COMELEC

Robie de Guzman   •   September 1, 2021   •   310

MANILA, Philippines – The conduct of voter registration will resume in areas under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said Wednesday.

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez said the COMELEC en banc has approved the start of voter registration in MECQ areas on September 6, Monday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jimenez said that the COMELEC en banc also allowed the voter registration in satellite centers inside malls.

More details will be released soon, he added.

COMELEC previously suspended the voter registration activities in areas under ECQ and MECQ.

The poll body earlier rejected calls to extend the September 30 deadline for voter registration but it extended the registration hours to accommodate more registrants for the May 2022 polls.

Comelec marks successful voting simulation

Maris Federez   •   October 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reported that the simulation on voting protocols conducted over the weekend was a success.

Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Atty. Teopisto Elnas said the operational procedure on Saturday’s simulation held in San Juan City was well executed and the minimum health standards were strictly followed.

Upon entry to the polling center, voters went through the health screening process to check their temperature.

Those with high temperatures would have to proceed to the isolation polling place to vote and would be endorsed to the health officer on stand-by.

Those who had no problem during health screening were directed to the voter’s assistance desk to check their voting precinct.

“Pagpasok nakikita natin gaano kahalaga yong mga signages at saka yong mga paalala at saka yong mga instructional ano natin posters natin to the voters natin para ma-guide ang voters natin,” Elnas said.

“At saka nakikita din natin ang kahalagan  ng voters assistance desk wherein ina-assist yong mga botante in informing them kung ano yung specific cluster precinct nila, precinct sequence nila and of course yong specific location ng kanilang polling place,” he added.

An emergency accessible polling place was also set up for pregnant women, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens.

The voting precincts were well-ventilated and the number of voters allowed inside was limited to maintain physical distancing during the course of the simulation.

Rodrigo Dasigan, a volunteer test voter, hopes that the same discipline and order applied in the simulation will also be practiced on the actual day of the elections.

“Maganda siya, sana ganun din sa eleksyon. Magkaroon ng disiplina ang tao,” he said.

Comelec spokesperson Director James Jimenez noted how their prepared procedures have actually worked during the simulation process and how the said system will hold in the actual election day amid the pandemic.

“The next step really is to find out if they will hold up under volume. Pag dumami na yong taong gumagamit ng sistema kaya pa rin ba ng sistema? There will be other opportunities in the future to check volume,” Jimenez said.

“Sa ngayon hindi namin talaga inexpect na makikita natin yong impact ng volume. Ang point talaga natin dito is to see if our procedures will work and, so far, they have worked,” he further noted. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

Ilang pasyalan sa Metro Manila bukas na sa publiko pero mga bata, bawal sa ilang parke

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Bukas na sa publiko ang ilang pasyalan sa Metro Manila kasunod ng pagsasailalim sa rehiyon sa COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

Kabilang sa mga binuksang pasilidad ay ang Quezon Memorial Circle, kung saan pinapayagan ang pagpasok ng mga bata basta’t may kasamang magulang o adult guardian.

Maaari ring kumain sa parke at bukas ang playground para sa mga batang gustong maglaro.

May mga nag-iikot namang security personnel upang masegurong nasusunod ng mga bisita ang ipinatutupad na public health protocols.

Malawak ang Quezon Memorial Circle at maaari itong pagdarausan ng individual exercise.

Bukas ang lugar mula alas-5 ng umaga hanggang alas-8 ng gabi.

Sa Maynila naman, bukas rin ang Luneta at Paco Park mula alas-5 ng umaga para sa mga nais mamasyal at mag-ehersisyo sa liwasan.

Ngunit ayon sa National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), bawal pa rin ang pagpasok sa Rizal Park ng mga menor de edad kahit sila ay mag-e-ehersisyo.

“Sa ngayon po, dahil po sa IATF guidelines ay hindi po muna natin ina-allow ang mga bata sa parks and then, yung pagdating naman din po sa pagkain, hindi pa rin po nag-a-allow ng picnic po sa park,” ang paliwanag ni Florizza Buclatin, ang chief of staff ng NPDC.

Sa Intramuros, tumatanggap na rin ng bisita ang Baluarte de San Diego at Fort Santiago pero bawal pa rin ang mga menor de edad.

Bukas ang Fort Santiago mula alas-9 ng umaga hanggang alas-7 ng gabi habang ang Baluarte de San Diego naman ay bukas mula alas-9 ng umaga hanggang alas-6 ng gabi.

Bukas ang mga pasyalang ito, bakunado man o hindi kontra COVID-19.

Paalala ng mga otoridad sa mga bisita, kailangan pa ring nakasuot ng face mask, iwasan ang overcrowding at panatilihin ang physical distancing. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Business recovery very likely as restrictions ease — employers group

Maris Federez   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) is confident that businesses will be able to recover soon as alert level restrictions begin to ease in selected areas in the country.

ECOP said that business owners are seeing gradual recovery from losses as protocols to counter the spread of COVID-19 relax.

“Kapag nagnonormal yung restrictions mag-uumpisa nang kumita ang mga iyan,” said ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

Ortiz-Luis added that it is now time for the government to allow companies to operate with a larger percentage of their workforce to help them recover.

He said all it takes for them is to implement stricter health protocols in their areas of employment.

Employers must also not make vaccination status a basis for accepting employees returning for work.

“Kapag tinanong mo meron din ilan-ilang nagpa-positve sa workplace eh. Pero kapag ininspeksiyon mo saan nakuha, hindi naman doon sa workplace eh. Nakuha sa paghanap ng sasakyan, pagpila sa kung ano-anong pinipilahan,” Ortiz-Luis said.

“Napakaraming pila: pila sa ayuda, pila sa COMELEC, pila sa paghanap ng sasakyan, paglalakad, pagtitipon, paghahanap ng pagkain. Doon nakukuha. Hindi sa workplace. Bakit hindi mo papasukin?” he added.

However, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) stressed that vaccination, alongside the efficient implementation of quarantine restrictions, is still the key to economic recovery.

“The continued decline in COVID-19  infection cases owing to the speedier COVID vaccine rollout and more effective granular lockdown will help underpin the economy’s gradual reopening,” said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.

Currently, the National Capital Region is under Alert Level 3 until the end of October, wherein several business establishments have been allowed to operate with limited capacity. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

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