Nearly one week before the campaign period of the plebiscite for the creation of three Palawan provinces, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) clarified that the Puerto Princesa City will have no participation in the event.

COMELEC Palawan spokesperson Jomel Ordas said Puerto Princesa City being excluded in the plebiscite as a highly urbanized city has no involvement in the exercise.

“For purposes of this plebiscite wala ang CBOC (City Board of Canvassers) kasi hindi kasama ang city sa plebiscite. Mayroon lang tayong PBOC and MBOC [o] ang tawag natin ngayon ay Provincial Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (PPBOC) at Municipal Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (MPBOC). Since hindi covered ang city [ay] wala silang participation dito sa plebiscite,” he added.

Ordas made a clarification after mayor Lucilo Bayron announced during the flag ceremony on February 1 that they will hold an online meeting with the COMELEC for the upcoming plebiscite which might affect the city.

“Iniimbita ko ‘yong ating city legal… Zoom meeting with COMELEC Palawan dahil magkakaroon ng epekto sa atin itong plebisito. Dahil dadalahin dito yata yong mga results niyan from municipalities, dito bibilangin, so baka may mga restrictions sa Puerto Princesa, malalaman natin mamaya,” he added.

Ordas said the PPBOC will convene at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan legislative building in Puerto Princesa City as the venue for the March 13 plebiscite canvassing not later than 6 o’clock in the afternoon of the day to receive returns.

“[Sa] Section 75 of Resolution No. 10687, revised rules and regulations in the governing the conduct of Palawan plebiscite promulgated on Dec 16, 2020, sinasabi d’yan na magco-convene at magca-canvass ang PPBOC, (the same) venue kung saan nag-canvass para sa May 13, 2019, NLE,” Ordas said.

Meanwhile, as per Resolution No. 10682 or the calendar of activities and periods of certain prohibited acts for the plebiscite, the posting of the computerized voter’s list, last day to constitute members of the municipal and provincial board of canvassers, inspection of polling precinct and campaign period will be started on February 11.