The Department of Interior and Local Government has stated that no special election will be held in Busuanga to replace a deceased municipal councilor, who died from the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Section 45 of the Local Government Code provides for the succession in case of permanent vacancy in Sanggunian, according to Virgilio Tagle, provincial director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“His [name withheld] political party will recommend a replacement and the governor will appoint the replacement,” said Tagle in a phone interview on Wednesday.

This developed after a 63-year-old male municipal councilor from Busuanga town died due to the complications of COVID-19 on September 9. Some 67 individuals were considered close contacts following his death, which has returned two other COVID-19 positive patients so far.

The deceased municipal councilor, who has no travel history but with known comorbidities, was the second COVID-19 casualty in Calamian Islands Group which is now considered as an emerging hotspot of COVID-19 in the Palawan province with 42 active cases out of a total of 81 confirmed cases.

The continued rise of COVID-19 cases in Palawan has prompted the local officials to “urgently hire” at least 517 contact tracers, in a bid to strengthen its containment protocol.