Comelec cites recommendations to improve BSKE mall voting

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said allowing voting precincts to locate in malls provide some ease to the public, but some still pose challenge for the vulnerable sector. Citing a report on the voting dry-run in select malls in Manila, Cebu, and Legazpi City last Aug. 19, Comelec said mall voting setup provided general “accessibility and convenience” to the vulnerable sector especially senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and pregnant women. However, it also noted several challenges. “There are polling places with little spaces/entrance areas in the actual voting area that may make it difficult for PWD voters (those with wheelchairs, etc.) to move through the voting area,” the report stated, noting that some of these areas ‘were located at the uppermost level of the buildings. The report also noted the issue about the malls’ operating hours, which will hamper the voters to finish their tasks early. It also cited inadequate spaces in waiting areas, small signages to polling spaces, and the actual area designation of personnel from the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Comelec has partnered with SM Supermalls and Robinsons Malls for the Barangay and Sangguniaang Kabataan Elections (BSKE). Under the partnership, select villages around 10 malls in Metro Manila, Legazpi, and Cebu, will be tapped as polling areas for free on Oct. 30. Around 16,205 voters are expected to be catered in these malls, with the highest participants coming from Quezon City, Parañaque, and in Consolacion town, Cebu province. DQ raps on BSKE bets Comelec Chairperson George Erwin Garcia, meanwhile, confirmed the filing of disqualification charges against some BSKE candidates this week, after considering their unsatisfactory answers to show cause orders. ‘Yung i-file po sa Thursday ay dq (disqualification case) ay regarding premature campaigning (What we will file on Thursday are disqualification cases regarding premature campaigning),” Comelec Chairperson George Erwin Garcia said in a Viber message. Comelec Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco told the Philippine News Agency that denial of ownership or accountability over prematurely posted campaign materials were included in their “unsatisfactory answers.” “Flimsy excuses without supporting proof po na hindi sila nagkabit, hindi nila alam, wala silang kinalaman po, hindi sila aware (Flimsy excuses without supporting proof that it was not them who posted the campaign materials; that they have no idea about it; and are not aware of it),’ he said. As of Tuesday, 110 disqualification cases may be possibly filed following the assessment of Task Force Kontra Epal, after it received answers from 304 candidates. Around 160 complaints were dropped due to a lack of factual basis. In total, the poll body issued 2,558 show cause orders to BSKE candidates.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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