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Negative Covid test required in COC filing

The Comelec said voter registration activities will now be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays*

The Commission on Elections is requiring national candidates to present a negative Covid-19 test result, before they will be allowed to file their Certificates of Candidacy in October at its main building in Intramuros, Manila.

In Resolution No. 10717 released yesterday, the poll body said it will only accept COCs from candidates in the presidential, vice presidential, and senatorial positions who will be able to present a negative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test result taken within the last 24 hours prior to the filing of COC.

“Pursuant to the guidelines issued by the National Government, Inter-Agency Task Force and Local Government Unit concerned, the following measures shall be observed at all times in the filing of COC. For aspirants for the positions of President, Vice-President, Senator, RT-PCR test or antigen test taken within the last 24 hours prior to the filing of COC, indicating a negative result shall be required,” it said.

Also those required to present negative Covid-19 test results are authorized representative of the aspirants, representative of the groups for the party-list system, their companions, Comelec personnel in charge of receiving COCs, security personnel, and members of the media.

The Comelec will only allow a maximum of three people to accompany national candidates in filing their COCs.

For other positions, local candidates are only allowed two people to accompany them in the submission of their COCs.

Those running in national positions including party-list representative may file their COCs at the poll body’s Law Department or in any other venue that may be designated by the Commission en Banc.

For members of the House of Representatives for legislative districts in the National Capital Region, they may submit their COCs at the Office of the Regional Director NCR.

For members of House of Representatives for legislative districts in provinces, they may go to the Office of Provincial Election Supervisor concerned while those members of House of Representatives for legislative districts in cities outside the NCR, which comprise one or more legislative districts, can file their COCs at the Office of the City Election Officer concerned designated for the purpose by the Regional Election Director.

For governor, vice-governor, and members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the filing will be at the Office of Provincial Election Supervisor while for mayor, vice-mayor in the cities with more than one election officer, the COCs can be filed at the Office of the City Election Officer concerned designated for the purpose by the Regional Election Director.

For candidates for the Sangguniang Panlungsod in cities with more than one election officer, the filing will be at the Office of the City Election Officer of the district concerned.

For mayor, vice mayor, and member of the SP in cities with only one legislative district, the COCs can be filed at the Office of the City Election Office while aspirants for municipal mayor, municipal vice-mayor, and member of the Sangguniang Bayan, the filing will be at the Office of Municipal Election Officer.

The filing of COCs will be from October 1 to 8.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police is ready to secure the extended voter registration for next year’s national and local elections.

PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar made this assurance after the Comelec decided to extend the registration hours to accommodate more people who wish to register for the polls amid the pandemic.

“Now that the situation is different, the PNP also needs to ensure that minimum public health safety standards and quarantine protocols in the registration sites are observed,” he said in a statement.

Eleazar also tasked police offices to coordinate with local government units regarding this matter and reminded police commanders to ensure strategic and balanced deployment of personnel as cops are also deployed to secure vaccination sites.

On Thursday, the poll body announced that voter registration activities will now be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays.

The Comelec has rejected calls from lawmakers to extend the voter registration beyond the Sept. 30 deadline, saying this would result in other problems that may affect the timeline of its preparations for next year’s polls.

Latest Comelec data showed that the number of new voter registrants in the country has reached 4.3 million.*PNA

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