THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) assured on Friday, May 6, 2022, its readiness to respond to any eventualities that may happen on Election Day, May 9, 2022.

Commissioner George Garcia said during a Laging Handa public briefing that they have prepared contingency plans to immediately fix glitches.

“Traditionally, kalimitan minsan ang teacher bigla nalang hindi umaattend, hindi pumupunta. Meron naman po tayong mga pamalit kaagad sa mga miyembro po ng electoral boards. May guidelines na paano sila papalitan,” he said.

(Traditionally, there are some instances when teachers suddenly don’t appear at precincts. But we have members of the electoral boards who can replace them. We already have guidelines on that.)

“Minsan naman nadedelay ang mga election paraphernalia, meron na rin tayong contingency diyan,” he added.

(There are also some instances when the election paraphernalia are delayed, but we already have a contingency plan.)

Garcia maintained that teachers who were designated in election boards after undergoing training should remain unless there is an order from the Comelec.

He made the statement after the reported replacement of electoral board members in the Bangsamoro region.

He said all vote counting machines (VCMs), ballots and other election paraphernalia have already been distributed in all areas in the country, including those in hard-to-reach areas.

Garcia said testing and sealing of VCMs will finish by Saturday, May 7.

He said 355 VCMs were brought to repair hubs after failing in the testing.

In terms of security problems that may arise during the election, Garcia assured the availability of security forces, as well as logistical resources for immediate response.

Over 80,000 security forces from the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Philippine Coast Guard will be deployed to ensure the conduct of a peaceful and honest election on May 9.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said a total of 39,217 public schools, 106,439 classrooms and 756,083 teachers and non-teaching school staff will be utilized during the event.

As of May 4, 24 towns and four cities were under Comelec control ahead of the 2022 national and local polls.

Included in the list were the towns of Pilar in Abra; Buluan, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Piang, Mangudadatu, Pandag and Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao; province of Misamis Occidental and Marawi City, Maguing, Tuburan and Malabang in Lanao del Sur.

PNP Chief Dionardo Carlos said there is currently no verified threat in connection to the elections but they continue to monitor to ensure the conduct of a peaceful and safe election.

According to PNP spokesperson Colonel Jean Fajardo, a total of 14 confirmed election-related violence incident have been recorded by the police. (SunStar Philippines)