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âPandemic response to boost admin betsâ
“If the candidates of the administration have an advantage, it’s because first, there is a pandemic; second, they can see that the government has done everything; third, it will really depend on the vaccine rollout,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque claimed.
STAR/Geremy Pintolo, file

‘Pandemic response to boost admin bets’

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Achieving a “better Christmas” would pose a problem for opposition candidates in the 2022 elections because of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, Malacañang said yesterday.

“If the candidates of the administration have an advantage, it’s because first, there is a pandemic; second, they can see that the government has done everything; third, it will really depend on the vaccine rollout,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque claimed.

“But I think we would achieve the better Christmas and that’s the problem of the opposition,” he added.

Roque made the claim in reaction to the statement of 1Sambayan convener Bro. Armin Luistro who said opposition candidates “are still hesitant to run in 2022.”

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is eyeing to hold separate schedules for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the May 2022 national and local polls.

“We are studying whether there will be separate days for single elective positions and multiple elective positions,” Comelec executive director Bartolome Sinocruz said.

Single elective positions refer to posts with only one winner such as mayors, governors, vice president and president while multi-elective posts are those with several winners like senators, provincial board members and city/municipal councilors.

“The idea really is to lessen the number of aspirants going to the venue to file COC so we can strictly observe social distancing,” Sinocruz noted.

The poll body had earlier set the COC filing period for next year’s poll from Oct. 1 to 8 this year.

3.5 M registrants

Data from Comelec showed that close to 3.5 million individuals have signed up for next year’s national and local polls.

From January 2020 to May 13, 2021, Comelec received 3,453,196 applications for voter registration in all local Comelec offices nationwide. Calabarzon had the most applicants with 387,482; followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 272,299 and Central Luzon with 275,795.

Data showed Cordillera Administrative Region had the least number of applications filed at with 44,655, followed by Cagayan Valley with 97,995.

Yesterday, Comelec resumed voter registration in the NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal after these areas were reverted to general community quarantine.

The Comelec aims to register some four million new voters for next year’s elections. – Sheila Crisostomo

COVID-19 VACCINE ELECTION
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