Congress proposes to extend voting schedule

THE House of Representatives is proposing a three-day election process in the national and local elections in 2022 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in voting precincts around the country.

This came on the heels of an earlier proposal by Senator Edgardo Angara seeking to give a separate voting schedule for senior citizens and persons with disabilities who are the most vulnerable individuals to be infected.

Baguio City Representative Marquez Go said he supports the proposal, citing this will ensure the prevention of a spread of the viral infection, particularly to those considered most vulnerable.

"I will support that particular move and as a matter of fact, because of this Covid-19, there is a proposal that we will hold the elections for two to three days for us to maintain social distancing and at the same time to prevent the crowding of people," Go said.

Commission on Elections Baguio Supervisor John Paul Martin welcomed the move and suggested the inclusion of teachers, members of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including government personnel scheduled to render election services for the 2022 national and local elections for an early voting schedule.

The election supervisor, however, reiterated that amendments by Congress will still have to be done to the existing Omnibus Election Code for election measures to push through

"Hopefully, we will have the vaccine prior to that but I think this is a good move as suggested by Senator Angara and I would not hesitate to file a similar bill in the House of Representatives allowing senior citizens and other individuals to vote one day before the actual election day," Go added.

Under the law, the next general elections must be held on May 9, 2022, ahead of the end of President Rodrigo Duterte's six-year term by June 30 of that year.


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