Comelec Cebu City to aspiring candidates: Don’t bring supporters when filing COCs
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Commission on Elections (Comelec) is already preparing for the election season, and this early, they are reminding the candidates to expect changes in the traditional filing of COCs.
Omar Sharif Mamalinta of the Comelec Cebu City said that they are now awaiting instructions from the national Comelec on the additional regulations in the filing that would ensure that the health protocols would be followed.
Although no policy has been set in stone yet, Comelec Cebu City expects that social distancing and minimum capacity would be the paramount rules during the filing of candidacy from October 1 to 8, 2021.
With this, Mamalinta said there may be a chance that for politicians who will be filing their candidacy personally, they can only be accompanied by one or two staff.
“Siguro usa or duha lang ang kauban, para dili ta maghuot sa election office because we need to maintain the health protocols,” he said.
The Comelec Cebu City also plans to put up a photo booth outside the Comelec offices of the North and South Districts so that the traditional pictorial for candidates will no longer be held inside and can take place at a safer open space area.
This will allow spectators, the media, and supporters to see the candidates without crowding the district offices.
Furthermore, Comelec is already coordinating with the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) for the security plans then.
Most of all, Mamalinta said they are requesting aspiring candidates, who may already be preparing for their filing, to scratch their plans of bringing supporters to the Comelec office during their filing.
“Di man gyod na namo mapugngan pero mohangyo lang gyod mi, wala lang sa tay supporters nga dalhon this year,” he said.
Supporters are generally expected during filing season because party candidates usually file their candidacies together bringing with them a horde of supporters.
However, with the current pandemic, the Comelec Cebu City believes this would place a great risk of transmission of the COVID-19 if they do so.
With this, Mamalinta hopes that the candidates would be the first to serve as examples of following health protocols and avoid drawing in crowds during the filing season. /rcg
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