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The Philippine Star - Comelec eyes 2-day Palawan plebiscite

News & Interviews
29 October 2020

By Sheila Crisostomo | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The plebiscite to ratify a law dividing Palawan into three provinces may be held for two days.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez said they are studying the feasibility of holding a two-day plebiscite to prevent crowding of people in polling precincts.

Jimenez said it is not the first time for the poll body, citing the experience for the Bangsamoro Organic Law in 2019.

He clarified that the two-day plebiscite is “not a done deal yet.”

Jimenez said their other option is to divide voters based on their surnames.

He admitted that this could pose a challenge, noting that the distribution of surnames in the Philippines is “not even remotely equal.”

Jimenez said they are also looking at dividing the voters by gender and polling precinct.

Palawan will be divided into Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental and Palawan del Sur under Republic Act 11259, which President Duterte signed in April 2019.

The plebiscite was supposed to be held on the second Monday of May, but was reset to the first quarter of next year due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.