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MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) signed memoranda of agreement with two major retail operators for the conduct of mall voting in select areas for the October 30, 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
Comelec Chairman George Garcia said on Monday, August 7, that 14 malls in Metro Manila, Albay, and Cebu are set to participate in the project, which will be a first in the history of Philippine elections.
Some of the participating malls and barangays are:
- Robinsons Magnolia – Barangay Horseshoe, Quezon City 4th District
- Robinsons Las Piñas – Barangay Talon Tres, Las Piñas
- Robinsons Ermita – Barangay 668, Manila 5th District
- Robinsons Metro East – Barangay Dela Paz, Pasig City 2nd District
- Robinsons Cebu – Barangay Parian, Cebu City
- SM Manila – Barangay 659, Manila 5th District
- SM Sucat – Barangay San Dionisio, Parañaque City 1st District
- SM North – Barangay Alicia, Quezon City 1st District
- SM Legazpi – Barangay 36, Kapantawan, Legazpi
- SM Consolacion Cebu – Barangay Pitogo, Consolacion, Cebu
Under the mall voting scheme, select polling precincts located near the said commercial establishments will be transferred from the school to the shopping mall.
Garcia said Comelec’s local offices consulted first with villages and only included those willing to have their precincts transferred.
“This is for our countrymen, especially senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and pregnant women so they can vote more conveniently,” he said.
The Comelec first attempted mall voting in 2016 but scrapped the plan weeks before voting day due to time constraints, as the law requires the transfer of precincts 45 days before elections.
The next round of barangay elections has long been delayed – it was supposed to be conducted in May 2020 but was postponed to December 2022, and then moved again to October 2023.
The Supreme Court ruled in June that the law signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. rescheduling the December 2022 polls to October 2023 was unconstitutional, but added that the elections must push through this year “due to legal practicality and necessity.” – with reports from Rachel Reyes/Rappler.com
Rachel Ivy Reyes is the news editor of Outcrop, the official student paper of the University of the Philippines Baguio. She currently volunteers for Rappler.