The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has begun its preparation for the plebiscite ratifying Republic Act (RA) 11259 or the creation of three provinces on May 11, 2020.

COMELEC spokesperson Jomel Ordas said Wednesday that they are currently preparing the final list of voters, the ballot boxes, board of canvassers and the plebiscite committees or the Board of Elections Inspectors (BEI) in regular elections.

He said the process is still the same with the regular elections aside from manual voting and counting.

“The same lang din [ang process] kapag regular elections, maliban doon sa manual voting at counting kapag plebesito. [Sa ngayon] ay finalization of voter’s list, ballot boxes lahat ng mga kailangan,” he said.

COMELEC Resolution No. 10620 issued in November 2019 prescribed the calendar of activities and certain prohibited acts in line with the plebiscite.

Ordas said that they are also in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and other agencies for the deployment of supplies needed during the day of the plebiscite.

He said there will be a temporary ban on the carrying of firearms and on the appointment and transfer of government employees.

“In coordination na tayo sa agencies and other offices para sa deployment ng mga accountable and non-accountable forms and supplies. Also ‘yong implementation natin ng gun ban, ban on appointment and transfer of government employees and others,” Ordas said.

Earlier in January, the commission resumed the nationwide resumption of voter registration from January 20, 2020, to September 30, 2021, for the national and local elections. However, the 23 municipalities of Palawan were excluded from the registration in light of the forthcoming plebiscite.

Under the proposal, Northern Palawan or Palawan del Norte will be composed of the towns of El Nido, Coron, Linapacan, Culion, Busuanga with Taytay as the capital.

Palawan Oriental will be comprised of San Vicente, Dumaran, Cuyo, Agutaya, Magsaysay, Cagayancillo, and Roxas as the capital.

Brooke’s Point will be the capital of Palawan del Sur composed of Kalayaan, Aborlan, Narra, Sofronio Española, Rizal, Quezon, Bataraza, and Balabac.