By Xianne Arcangel | CNN Philippines
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 14) — Voters who will show COVID-19 symptoms on election day - May 9, 2022 - will still be allowed to cast their ballots, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Those who exhibit symptoms when they are screened upon arrival at the polling precinct will be brought to an isolated area within the compound where they can vote, Comelec spokesperson Director James Jimenez said Tuesday.
He added that the measure had already been implemented successfully during the Palawan plebiscite last March.
"Those voters with questionable health statuses - mataas ang temperatura, inuubo (fever, cough) or those who exhibit symptoms of possible contagion, they will be diverted to an isolation polling place or IPP. In the isolation polling place, they will be allowed to cast their votes, no problem, except that they will be separated from the general population," Jimenez said.
To minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, the poll body is also studying the possibility of limiting the number of persons allowed inside a voting precinct at any given time.
Jimenez said an "extreme" possibility would be to have only five persons allowed inside the precinct: one voter, three members of the election board and one poll watcher.
"Where there used to be ten voters at the same time in a classroom, we're exploring a range of possibilities now and the most extreme of these possibilities is that the number will be brought down to five people," Jimenez said.
He, however, added the proposal is not yet final.
Jimenez also said voting on election day may be extended from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. due to the limitations on the number of voters allowed inside the voting precinct.