The municipal office of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Bataraza has increased by 100 the number of voting precincts that will serve the town on plebiscite day to decide whether Palawan should be divided into three separate provinces.
From 163 in 2019, the voting precincts in Bataraza will be 263, according to election officer Phoebe Narrazid in an interview with Palawan News on Tuesday.
Narrazid said they increased the number of voting precincts to prevent residents from crowding and to avert the possible spread of the coronavirus disease.
The 263 precincts will compose 33 voting centers that will be manned by teachers on March 13, 2021. Each precinct will cater to around 200 voters who will only be allowed to enter in groups of five at a given period of time.
Narrazid said they will strictly implement health protocols on plebiscite day. Residents who will vote have to wear face masks before they will be allowed to enter polling places.
“This is to avoid overcrowding at base sa mandato ng COMELEC para sa safety ng mga botante. Bawat presinto ay 200 registered voters lang yan sa masterlist at after bumoto puwede ng lumabas at umuwi agad,” Narrazid said.
She said they have already posted on the second week of February the masterlist in voting centers for residents to see their names and where they will cast their votes.
Bataraza has 48,356 registered voters who will troop to polling places on plebiscite day. The biggest number of voters will come from the barangays of Marangas and Rio Tuba.
“Naglagay na po tayo ng mga masterlist sa ating mga barangay see to it po na yong mga nasa barangay ay makita po nila agad ang pangalan nila, alam naman natin na yong mga bumoto during 2019 election sila pa din po ang makakaboto sa plebisito,” Narrazid added.
She said voters will also be made to fill up COVID-19 forms asking for their health conditions, travel histories, and other pertinent details that will indicate they are safe from the deadly virus.
Isolation polling places will be set up in each voting center for voters who will show high body temperatures. These areas is where they can cast their votes, Narrazid said.
“Higher 37.4 body temperature ay hindi sila makakaboto sa kanilang presinto, i-a-assist sila ng ating mga nakatalagang medical personnel at doon na sila ipapaboto sa loob ng isolation polling place,” paliwanag ni Narrazid.