Bohol to ask for postponement of barangay polls-A A +A
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
BOHOL Governor Edgar Chatto said Wednesday the Provincial Board will pass a resolution urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to postpone the October 28 barangay polls in the province due to the damage caused by a magnitude-7.2 earthquake on Tuesday.
Chatto made the statement before Cabinet secretaries and President Benigno Aquino III, who was briefed on the effects of the quake and the government's response to the tragedy, which has claimed 98 lives in the top tourist destination.
The Comelec has yet to make up its mind on Chatto's call as the poll body will have to assess the effect of the quake on its offices and schools, which will be used as polling areas.
"We still need to assess how the earthquake affected our schools also since they will be used as voting centers. It is still early to say but, for sure, we are looking into it right now," said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Tuesday.
Bohol incurred the biggest damage as the epicenter was located in the central town of Carmen. Power in the island is expected to be fully restored in two to three days while the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it will take a month to fix damaged bridges.
Rice supply is good for 30 days, petroleum products may last for one week and the remaining supply of bottled water may be consumed within eight days. However, retailers are having difficulty transporting rice and other basic commodities to areas affected by landslide and rock falls.
Bohol and Cebu are currently under state of calamity.
So far, the Comelec called off elections in Zamboanga City after some schools were turned into evacuation centers for residents displaced by the three-week gun battle between government soldiers and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) last month.
A poll postponement can only be possible if there is “violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure and other analogous causes," according to Section 5 of the Omnibus Election Code.
The Comelec is looking at holding the special elections in Zamboanga before the end of the three-year term of incumbent barangay officials on November 30. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)