By Ferdinand Patinio | Philippine News Agency
MANILA – With health protocols in place in its offices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and in those areas under general community quarantine, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Thursday the public can secure the voter’s certification starting Monday, June 15.
“The Commission En Banc has promulgated new protocols in the process of securing a Voter’s Certification which institutionalize the new normal,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement.
Pursuant to Comelec Resolution No. 10672, the concerned Offices of the Election Officers (OEOs) have been directed to be “coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) ready.”
They were directed to install glass windows or plastic sheet barriers and hand sanitation stations; daily disinfection of all office furniture and equipment; and posting of clear and visible signs about the wearing of face mask/shield, regular hand washing, physical distancing, and other preventive health measures, Jimenez said.
He also reminded the public about the “No Face Mask/Shield, No Transaction Policy”, as well as the observance of physical distancing at all times.
Strictly one requesting party at a time will be served, and all transactions will be done through plastic sheet barriers or glass windows.
Physical distancing will be enforced in waiting areas, with chairs or floor markings spaced one meter apart for purposes of queuing.
As for senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and others needing assistance, the assistors are required to observe the protocol of wearing face mask/shield and proper hygiene.
Alternatively, an authorized person may request on their behalf, who must submit a special power of attorney (SPA) or an authorization letter and photocopies of a valid ID of both the requesting party and the authorized representative.
Jimenez said the certification is free of charge for senior citizens, PWDs, and members of the indigenous peoples (IPs) and indigenous cultural communities (ICCs).
It is also free for voters in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) who will secure their certification in the OEO of the locality where they are registered.
Jimenez said the issuance of certification is still indefinitely suspended in the cities of Mandaue, Cebu, and Talisay, in the province of Cebu.
Last March 15, the Comelec first suspended the issuance of Voter’s Certification nationwide following the declaration of a state of public health emergency in the country pursuant to the Presidential Proclamation No. 922, and the issuances of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
On April 13, the suspension was extended until April 30. Then on April 30, the same was again extended until June 30 in light of the community quarantine. (PNA)