BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson is expected to take the lead among elected provincial officials in filing their Certificates of Candidacy on October 1 before the Commission on Elections.
Lacson said that he has assigned certain hours for members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to file their respective COCs, in the observance of mandated health protocols.
Provincial Comelec supervisor Maria Fatima Aspan said yesterday that she already asked Gov. Lacson for the temporary use of the Provincial Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City as a venue for the filing of COCs.
Aspan said that the provincial Comelec office is too small to accommodate the expected candidates.
Lacson disclosed that he and re-electionist Rep. Gerardo Valmayor (1st district, Negros Occ) will simultaneously file their COCs, as Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer will also accompany his wife, Rep. Juliet Ferrer (4th district, Negros Occ) who will also seek reelection.
Rep. Maria Lourdes Arroyo (5th district, Negros Occ) also reported that she will file her COC on the same day.
Aspan asked the candidates to fill up the health declaration forms before filing their respective COC, and stressed that local candidates will no longer be required to submit negative RT-PCR Test result, which is a requirement for national candidates.
At the same time, Aspan also barred supporters of candidates from entering the Provincial Capitol Social Hall, as she will only allow 10 candidates and individuals for entry.
She also requires candidates to wear masks and face shields, while their supporters may only be allowed to stay only at the Capitol grounds, with strict observance of mandated health protocols.*