THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Northern Mindanao is urging all government officials, police authorities and the mass media to submit their applications for local absentee voting as early as March.
The Comelec said that personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) should apply not later than March 15, while members of the media should submit their applications not later than March 31.
Under the resolution no. 9637, the media is entitled to such early voting since they will not be able to vote due to the performance of their functions in covering and reporting the conduct of the May elections.
Comelec acting regional director Noli R. Pipo said government officials and employees including the AFP and PNP who are duly registered voters are allowed to vote for national positions such as senators and party-list representatives in places where they are not registered, but where they are temporarily assigned to perform election duties on Election Day as provided under Executive Order No. 157 and Republic Act No. 7166.
Pipo said government officials and employees, members of the AFP and PNP can submit their applications to their heads of offices/supervisors and commanders.
The media, Pipo said, can submit their applications either at the office of the Provincial Election Supervisor (OPES) where they are registered as a voter or at the Office of the City Election Officer (OCEO) in case of highly urbanized or independent cities such as Iligan and Cagayan de Oro City if they are registered in the two cities.
Local absentee voters are allowed to vote any day from April 28, 29 and 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. under the direct supervision and presence of the municipal, city, district EO or his representative or the PES or his representative.
Pipo added that voting for government officials and employees, members of the AFP and PNP, head of office/supervisor/commander shall not be later than April 15 provided there is a written notice upon the municipal/city/district EO.
Media voters shall vote in the Comelec office where they filed their applications to avail the local absentee voting.
The Comelec said that local absentee voters shall vote not earlier than 15 days before the elections or later than 12 days before the elections. (Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat/PIA)