(Updated) The provincial Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has issued a list of alternative locations for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) from October 1-8 in the event its local office becomes exposed to the coronavirus disease.

Jomel Ordas, the spokesperson of the COMELEC Palawan office, said Sunday morning that it’s all systems go for the submission of COCs since all venues throughout the province have been put up in accordance with their rules and the Inter-Agency Task Force’s recommendations (IATF).

“Ang alternative venues po ay part ng contingency risk management plan ng COMELEC kapag halimbawa ma-expose ang local COMELEC office sa COVID-19. During filing, may malilipatan agad at para masigurong tuloy-tuloy ang activity na ito,” he told Palawan News.

READ THE LIST HERE:

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Ordas said that there are currently 25 filing venues all over Palawan.

In Puerto Princesa City, the alternative site will be on the second floor of the City Coliseum in Barangay San Pedro at the former office of architect Christopher Magrata. The alternative venue for the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor, on the other hand, is the Provincial Gymnasium also at the PEO Compound in Barangay Bancao-Bancao.

Based on Section 21 of COMELEC Resolution No. 10717, if the designated venue for filing becomes compromised due to COVID-19, the head of the local receiving office may request for a transfer or recommend an alternative venue no later than September 1, 2021.

“Opo, ready na [for the filing of COC]. Kasama sa preparation namin yong pag-set up ng office/venue ayon sa guidelines ng COMELEC at IATF. Nakipag-coordinate na rin kami sa mga local health offices para ma-inspect kung compliant na sa COVID protocol guidelines ang mga offices,” Ordas said.

Ordas said that to ensure the smooth flow of the submission of COCs in all receiving centers, and strict adherence to health protocols, the police and the military will be helping, as well as the job order and casual employees they hired to assist during the election period.

He also stressed their request for those who will be filing their candidacies to strictly follow health protocols and to prevent crowding.

“Mayroon tayong health and safety protocols na i-implement sa venue ng filing at based sa experience namin, ang mga candidates natin ay masunurin at nakikiisa lagi sa guidelines o rules na ipinapatupad ng COMELEC,” said Ordas.

So far, for the Palawan provincial government, incumbent Vice Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates and provincial board member Leoncio Ola have announced their intent to run for governor and vice governor, respectively. For Puerto Princesa City, Mayor Lucilo Bayron confirmed that he will run for re-election. Local political parties, such as the Partidong Pagbabago ng Palawan (PPP), also held a convention on Friday to finalize their tickets in all local positions. The party has yet to announce their line-up.

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