TO protect voters from COVID-19, the Commission on Elections may adopt other means to proceed with the elections in 2022 such as a two-day voting period and bigger voting areas that allow for physical distancing, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said Friday.
Pangilinan, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws, also said canceling the elections is unconstitutional.
“Kontra sa Saligang Batas ang pagkansela ng halalan. Hindi dahilan ang pandemya upang kanselahin ang eleksyon. Hindi tayo tulad ng Hong Kong na hawak sa leeg ng China kaya naipagpaliban ang kanilang eleksyon,” Pangilinan said.
“May mga paraan upang matuloy ang eleksyon at maproteksyunan ang kalusugan ng mga nais bumoto. Halimbawa, gawing dalawang araw ang halalan para mabawasan ang dami ng tao sa voting centers. Maari ring ilipat ang botohan sa mga basketball court, sa mga plaza, mga gymnasium, at convention center para mas maluwag at maipatupad ang physical distancing,” he added.
Several countries such as South Korea and Singapore have successfully conducted elections even in the midst of the pandemic. Fellow Southeast Asian nations Myanmar and Indonesia are also scheduled to hold elections in November and December 2020 respectively.
Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said that it is up to the Congress and the President to decide on the matter.
The Senate is set to hear the budget of the Comelec on Monday, September 28.