Sunday, August 18, 2019

Mayor orders city-wide cleanup of poll garbage

THE barangay elections yesterday left tons of garbage on Cebu City's streets, particularly those near public elementary and secondary schools.

This prompted Mayor Michael Rama to order the Department of Public Services (DPS) and the barangays to clean roads and school premises.

Most of the waste found in schools and nearby streets were sample ballots and other campaign materials.

Rama said the election should not prevent barangay officials from performing their duties, which include garbage collection.

He also urged candidates to take part in the planned city-wide cleanup. “Win or lose, candidates should help cleaning, especially in removing their campaign materials,” he added.

Garbage after barangay elections in Cebu City
JUNK MONEY. Grade 4 pupil Trixie Ann Cuesta of Yati Elem School, Liloan gathers sample ballots that litter her school. She sells the paper to a junk shop. (Sun.Star Cebu Photo/Allan Cuizon)


The litter problem aside, Rama and Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials declared yesterday's election as generally peaceful.

Cebu City North District Election Officer Marchel Sarno said that aside from squabbles among supporters, there were no major hitches during the barangay elections.

"Arguments between supporters are normal in an election,” he said.

In Tejero Elementary School, watchers of incumbent barangay captain Jessielou Cadungog com­plained against Leonilo Pilar Sr. who took a video of people voting.

Pilar's son ran under the slate of Cadungog's rival, Merlyn Servilla.

The two camps got into an argument, but were later pacified.

The police closed the gate of the school at 3 p.m., preventing some residents from voting.

Chief Insp. Wildemar Tiu of the Waterfront Police Station said they have to follow the guidelines set by the Comelec.

Watchers were allowed to go inside the school, though, to observe the counting of votes.

Dioscora Pacaña of Barangay Tejero said she lost track of the time and failed to vote before the closing.

Some residents said they were not aware that the voting would stop at 3 p.m.

Mayor Rama said he expected fewer voters than in the May 13 elections.

He commended the regional police for beefing up the Cebu City police force.
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