Gossiping, loitering banned in voting areas – Comelec

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will ban loitering and gossiping at the polling place in Election 2022 to reduce the risk of infection with -19.

At the forum organized by the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Teopisto Elias Jr. said the soldiers and police will assist in organizing the queue of voters.

“Unlike before ‘yung experience natin, bago boboto, nag-kumpol-kumpol pa, nagchi-chismisan pa, nagkukwentuhan pa inside the center. This time, we will not allow it to happen,” said Elias.

“Mayroon tayong mga -19 safety protocols na naka-assign doon sa voting centers to manage and to check any situation na mayron nagkukumpul-kumpulan to the effect na hindi pa boboto, andon lang naka-tambay lang,” he added.

Crowd control, according to Elias, is a step to reduce the risk of virus infection in the face of the threat of the new -19 variant Omicron.

“Basically, sa labas pa lang, the PNP or AFP, as the case may be, will manage the crowd doon sa labas while they’re queuing before they enter the voting centers to see to it that minimum health standards and protocols are complied with,” he explained.

Also read: 3 million senior citizens remain unvaccinated – Galvez

Gossiping, loitering banned in voting areas – Comelec

Elias added that the electoral board could seek help from the soldiers and police if there are people who do not follow the order of martials and disregard minimum public health standards.

The Comelec also released a list of things to do on polling day in the May 9 elections.

These include temperature checks at the entrance of the precinct or polling place, separate exits and entrances, health stations and holding areas, placing plastic between the electoral board and voters, must have face masks, physical distancing, and hand sanitation.

According to Elias, 10 to 15 voters will be allowed inside the polling place in each voting group. But it still depends on the size of the polling place.

Voting will begin at 6:00 am and end at 7:00 pm.

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