THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is discouraging the public from wearing shirts, face masks or other campaign paraphernalia inside the polling precincts on Election Day, commissioner George Garcia said on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

Garcia was particular on paraphernalia bearing names or photos of 2022 national and local election candidates.

"Di po tayo magdidikta at hindi natin ipo-prohibit ang isang botante na nakasuot ng kulay ng isang kandidato... pero iwasan po natin magsuot ng mga damit na merong mukha ng kandidato," he said in a Malacañang press briefing.

"Tandaan po natin, bawal na po ang pangangampaniya sa Mayo 9," he added.

He said sample ballots should also not be distributed in voting sites, although he admitted that it continues to happen, as those giving out such are usually children who cannot be arrested.

The campaign period will officially end on May 8.

Garcia said those who will violate the campaign period rule may be imprisoned from one to six years.

Garcia also reminded the public that polling precincts will open at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.

He said those who are in line within 30 meters from the polling precincts will still be allowed to vote beyond 7 p.m.

He said registered voters need nothing in order to be allowed to cast their votes whether it be a vaccination card, coronavirus disease 2019 test result, or even government issued identification.

Garcia encouraged voters to write on a piece of paper the names of their candidates for a faster transaction.

He discouraged parents from bringing their children and advised them to immediately go home instead of loitering around in schools especially as the country is still under Covid-19 pandemic.

Garcia reiterated that all registered voters will be allowed to vote even if they have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus.

“Wala tayong choice. It’s their constitutional right,” he said.

“’Yung may mga Covid-19 na may result talaga na dapat naka-quarantine dapat ipatupad ng mahigpit ng local government units na hindi sila makalabas,” he added.

The Comelec has prepared an isolated polling precinct for those who would manifest Covid-like symptoms.

A room exclusive for senior citizens and persons with disabilities has also been prepared for easier access especially in schools with high-rise buildings.

Garcia said there are about 65.8 million registered Filipino voters. (SunStar Philippines)