An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said the result of the Palawan plebiscite will not be based on the total number of voters who will participate in the referendum but on the number of “Yes” or “No” votes.

“We’re not looking at the number of those who will participate. That is not necessary for the validity of the result of the plebiscite,” he said in a virtual press conference.

Atty. Gloria Petallo, regional election director of Region 4-B (Mimaropa) said the plebiscite will be based on who will vote for “yes” or “no” during the March 13 poll.

“We expect for a 100 percent voting during plebiscite. If voter turnout is low, the plebiscite is still valid for as long as there are voters who will participate,” she said. “We will just look at who got the highest votes, the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ votes.”

Petallo said past plebiscites drew only below 50 percent of registered voters.

“Historically, the voter turnout during plebiscite is not that high. Records will show that 47 percent is the highest number of voters during the plebiscite,” she said.

The province of Palawan has a total of 490,639 registered voters.

On March 13, the voters will decide whether to divide Palawan into three provinces.

The voters will be asked to write “Yes” or “Oo” if they favor the split and “No” or “Hindi” if they are not in favor on the question: “Pumapayag ka ba na hatiin ang probinsya ng Palawan sa tatlong probinsya na papangalanang: Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental at Palawan del Sur alinsunod sa Batas Republika bilang 11259? (Are you in favor to divide Palawan into three provinces that will be named Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental and Palawan del Sur according to Republic Act 11259?). (PNA)

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