GMA News Online : 2022 polls still a go despite pandemic but guidelines needed -Comelec, Galvez

News & Interviews
29 April 2021

By GMA News Online

Wary of another COVID-19 outbreak in the country, both vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) agreed that the Philippines must thoroughly prepare for the 2022 elections amid the pandemic.

“Kailangan… magkaroon po tayo ng tinatawag na guidelines from Comelec (We need guidelines from Comelec),” Galvez said in Tina Panganiban-Perez’s report on “24 Oras.”

“So nakita natin ‘yung experience ng US nung nagkaroon sila ng election. At the same time, ngayon. ongoing ‘yung campaigning ng India, nakita natin nag-doble ang kanilang mutations. I think we have to prepare for that,” he added.

(So we saw the experience of the US when they held elections. At the same time, the campaigning in India is ongoing right now and we saw that their mutations doubled. I think we have to prepare for that.)

India has reported an average of 300,000 daily infections over the past days, reporting almost 380,000 in the last 24 hours and breaking another world record.

Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez, meanwhile, assured the public that the elections will continue.

“‘Yung elections were set by the Constitution itself, right? Meaning to say, kung gusto mo i-reset ‘yung elections, kailangan i-amend mo ‘yung Constitution. And para ma-amend ‘yung Constitution kailangan mo ng plebesito to ratify the amendment,” he said.

(The elections were set by the Constitution itself. Meaning to say if you want to reset the elections, you need to amend the Constitution. And to amend the Constitution, you need a plebiscite to ratify the amendment.)

“So mag e-eleksyon ka para ma postpone ‘yung eleksyon. So kalokohan ‘yun,” he added.

(So you’re going to hold elections to postpone the elections. That’s foolish.)

More than 100 countries have managed to hold their elections amid the pandemic, including the United States, according to Panganiban-Perez’s report.

The Comelec said it has enough time to prepare for the elections, adding that it might have picked up a lesson or two from countries that managed to hold elections despite the pandemic.

“We have so much time to prepare for it. Kitang-kita natin na kayang gawin ng safe ‘yung elections,” Jimenez said.

(We have so much time to prepare for it. We see that we can do it safely.)

Jimenez said they are looking into the possibility of face-to-face campaigns, adding that they may set a limit to the number of attendees and prohibit giving food to people.

“In-person pa rin siya, number one. Number two, schools pa rin ang pinaka obvious. Pangatlo, ‘yung one day, marami siguro nakakabit na issue diyan, eh. So ‘yun ‘yung kailangan natin i-settle within the next few months,” he said.

(It will still be in person, number one. Number two, holding it in schools is the most obvious decision. Third, the one-day election may have many issues. So this is what we need to settle within the next few months.) -Joahna Lei Casilao/MDM, GMA News