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‘Campaign adjustments possible’

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The proposal to ban face-to-face campaigning in the May 2022 elections because of the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to campaign adjustments for candidates, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday.

“That is something that we have to adjust, if indeed, the Comelec will implement it,” Lacson said, adding that the proposal makes a lot of sense to him.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez earlier said there will be changes in the “campaigning landscape” for the elections next year, adding that door-to-door campaigns might be prohibited.

Probably, online campaigning will be more prevalent, although not everybody is connected online, Lacson said.

“The proposal would mean less contact with voters, though the expenses of candidates may still be the same, because you have to find out how to bring your message to the electorate,” Lacson said.

He added that he expects that political rallies will no longer happen.

With this possible prohibition in view, Jimenez said the Comelec may instead promote online campaigning to help ensure the safety of voters against the spread of Covid-19.

The synchronized elections will be held on May 9, 2022.

Lacson also raised the possibility that the actual voting will last for three days, with senior citizens and persons with disabilities to be given one day, and two days for other voters.

But he said he is not agreeable to mail-in ballot.

“I don’t think we should follow that,” he added.

COVID-19 MEETING

Lacson also postponed the scheduled meeting with Negros Occidental mayors yesterday and reset it to next week, as he wants to include in the discussions the rollout of the vaccines, aside from determining how many LGUs would want to buy anti-Covid shots.

In a dialog with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines on Tuesday, Lacson said that vaccine czar Carlito Galvez reiterated his assurance that 70 percent of the entire Filipino population will be vaccinated.

He said that 18 years old and below are not covered by the vaccination program. Instead of buying vaccines, Lacson also said that Galvez has encouraged LGUs to focus on the purchase of other consumable items, such as needles, syringes, alcohol, and cotton buds, or hiring of vaccinators, for the massive vaccination program of the government.*

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