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Wearing of face shields not required during Palawan plebiscite

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Wearing of face shields during the plebiscite in Palawan next month is no longer mandatory.

Kalayaan election officer Juan Gonzales said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decided to do away with the requirement in consideration of voters from indigenous communities who might not be able to buy or have access to face shields.

“Para sa mga marginalized at mga vulnerable sectors, kasi baka ma-deprive sila of their right to vote,” Gonzales told a virtual press briefing yesterday. “Mga kababayan nating katutubo na wala ngang pambili ng bigas, para na din po ito sa equal nilang karapatan.”

While it is no longer mandatory, Gonzales said the poll body encourages those who will participate in the plebiscite to wear face shields aside from face masks for health security.

The plebiscite to ratify the division of Palawan into three provinces is set on March 13.

The Comelec had earlier said the Palawan plebiscite would serve as a test run of the health protocols to be implemented in the 2022 elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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