Senate to livestream receiving of COCs, ERs, canvassing

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Senate to livestream receiving of COCs, ERs, canvassing
This file photo shows the Senate building in Pasay City.
Official Gazette, file

MANILA, Philippines — Digital technology will be used for the first time by the Senate in livestreaming on social media the reception of the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) and Election Returns (ERs) for president and vice president on May 9 to ensure transparency of the entire activity.

The Senate’s reception of the COCs and ERs shall be livestreamed through the Senate’s YouTube channel, starting from 6 p.m. tomorrow, or after the voting period, according to Senate secretary Myra Marie Villarica.

“This is the first time we will broadcast live the arrival and deposit of all election documents 24/7 on the Senate YouTube channel. We are taking this opportunity to advance our digital initiatives and ensure transparency of the entire activity,” Villarica said.

“We have also tightened security, particularly where the ballot boxes of the COCs and the ERs will be stored. Aside from CCTV cameras located in strategic areas, we will also have roving cameras manned by personnel from the Public Relations and Information Bureau (PRIB),” she added.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the Senate is ready to receive the COCs and ERs for president and vice president after the closing of the election precincts on Monday. He said health standards set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will be strictly observed and all employees involved in the canvassing need to be fully vaccinated.

The Senate is mandated, under Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution, to receive the returns of every election for president and vice president, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city.

The returns shall be transmitted to Congress. The Senate president shall receive the COCs and shall open all of them not later than 30 days after the day of the election in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives in a joint public session. Congress shall the proceed to canvass the votes.

Villarica said only vehicles transporting the ballot boxes containing the COCs and ERs and other vehicles shall be allowed to enter the indoor parking area.

Vehicles bearing the Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms (OSAA) car stickers will be allowed to park at the open parking area on a first-come, first-served basis.

A no ID, no entry policy will be strictly implemented.

Villarica assured the public that a daily status report of all arriving COCs would be displayed on a LED screen display on the second floor of the Senate building for public viewing. Media personalities may request the status report from PRIB as early as 9 a.m.

She noted health and safety protocols would be enforced during the reception of the COCs and ERs. A disinfection and sanitation area will be set up outside the Senate building, she added.

“As per our health and safety standards, we will ask Commission on Elections (Comelec) personnel to wait for their turn in bringing in the ballot boxes. Unlike in the previous elections when they can enter the Senate building at the same time, we have a holding area where they can wait for their turn before entering the lobby,” Villarica said.

She added enclosures were installed at the Recto Room on the second floor of the Senate building for ballot boxes containing the COCs and in the basement for the ballot boxes containing the election returns.



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