Comelec moves COC filing for national positions to Sofitel tent

Comelec moves COC filing for national positions to Sofitel tent
File photo shows certificate of candidacy.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The filing of certificates of candidacy for national positions next month will be moved from the Commission on Elections main office in the City of Manila to a Sofitel tent in Pasay City, the poll body said Wednesday. 

The venue was chosen due to its large size and proper ventilation, Comelec told the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System at a hearing on preparations for the 2022 polls. 

Comelec executive director Bartolome Sinocruz Jr. said the filing of COCs at Sofitel from October 1 to 8 would be divided into candidates for president, vice president, the Senate and party-lists. 

These same candidates for national positions will be required to present a negative antigen test. 

Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo added that antigen tests will also be administered for free at the venue for those unable to take one beforehand. 

The poll body last month denied calls to allow the online filing of COCs which proponents said would help reduce in-person contact amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country. Comelec at the time emphasized that in-person filing is required by the law. 

Comelec: No extension of voter registration 

At the same hearing, Comelec renewed its rejection of proposals to extend the voter registration period by a month.

This, despite the Senate adopting on Tuesday night a resolution urging the poll body to move the registration deadline from Sept. 30, 2021, to Oct. 31, 2021. 

"We regret to inform this body that the Comelec En Banc has already decided unanimously that there will be no extension of registration," Casquejo told lawmakers, citing timeline concerns. 

He said, however, that he would raise the issue again at the next Comelec meeting. 

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