The pandemic has caused many changes to happen this year; and most likely in the future. To name some, it has brought in a new normal and up until this point in time, no news or estimate of how long we would have to endure it.
One other thing that this might bring is the postponement of elections in the year 2022.
Considering the Postponement of Elections
Just recently, Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo aired his suggestion to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) that they should consider postponing the national elections. Originally, it is scheduled in the year 2022.
The suggestion was due to the fear of voters to go out and about because of the pandemic.
As we all know, here in the Philippines, voting means going outside and being in contact with large crowds. Basically, that means that the coronavirus may be easily spread among those who will be voting.
This would definitely be a cause for lots of people not to vote instead. So, it’s quite understandable why this might cause the planned rescheduling of the National Elections.
As per the Chairman of the COMELEC, Sheriff Abas; the decision to postpone the election would be up to the Congress and the Philippine President since the poll body doesn’t have any opinion on this.
Working Ways Out to Push the 2022 National Elections
The COMELEC is still working on ways to make sure that the election on 2022 to still push through. As of the moment, they’re thinking of several ways on how candidates can file their certificate of candidacies.
Meanwhile, COMELEC Executive Bartolome Sinocruz, said that they’re currently looking at allowing the filing of these certificates online. However, the law prohibits this; it has been ever since the procedure has taken effect.
Nevertheless, they’re still thinking of alternative ways to approach the situation.
How About a 3-Day Election?
One suggestion given by Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun is to go for a 3-day election. Moreover, he also threw the poll executives some questions about giving lawmakers brief overviews of the scenario they can go with; as well as how it would work out even under this pandemic.
James Jimenez, Comelec’s spokesperson, reached out to the Congress and asked them to restore the budget that was reduced from their original proposal since it can be used instead to get more voting machines which will lead to less voters per machine. The amount deducted from the original proposal was around Php 16 billion.
5 Voters Per Precinct
The goal is simple. All they have to do is to allow only five (5) voters per precinct, instead of the usual 12. With that given amount, voters can still maintain proper social distancing, minimum health standards and requirements; allowing them to avoid the postponement of elections.
The poll body also hopes that the Congress can pass bills that are pending right now which expands the coverage of alternative ways of voting such as thru mail. They already created a special committee for the elections as well and its goals is study options in case the pandemic still persists till 2022.
On the other hand, Northern Samar 1stDistrict Rep. Paul Daza said that going through with the elections under the current circumstance is a big disadvantage for new comers since it harder to campaign.
Cancelling Elections is an Act of “Treason?”
Meanwhile, Teodoro Locsin Jr., the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) criticized Arroyo’s suggestion. He even dubbed it as an “Act of Treason” to do so.
You don’t cancel elections for any reason. That’s treason.”
Former Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal also gave his side on this matter. As per him, there isn’t any probabl reason to postpone it.
In addition to that, he pointed out that doing so we be a constitutional amendment; not to forget, and is against the law. On top of that he said that even other countries that have severely been hit pushed theirs; what’s our reason not to?
So you’re going to have an electoral exercise, to postpone an electoral exercise? There is no reason to postpone the elections. Other countries have had elections already.”
We all know that elections are important because it’s how the people votes for who is right for the position.
But, is it more important than the future and the sake of those who are voting? How about you? Do you agree on the postponement of Elections in the year 2022?
Source/s: ABS-CBN News