Only fully vaccinated individuals or those who are able to present a negative coronavirus test result will be allowed entry to canvassing venues for the 2022 elections, according to a new Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution.
The poll body uploaded on its website on Tuesday, November 23, Comelec Resolution No. 10731, which details general instructions for the Board of Canvassers in connection with the May 9, 2022 vote.
“The Board of Canvassers shall strictly implement election day protocols and shall allow entry only to…fully vaccinated individuals. In lieu of vaccination, a negative antigen/RT-PCR test result,” the resolution read.
Canvassing participants must also pass a temperature check and must not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, the resolution added.
Canvassers must also ensure that the number of people inside the venue won’t exceed its operational capacity.
“If the space in the canvassing venue is insufficient, preference shall be given to the watcher, lawyer, or official representative of the dominant majority and dominant minority parties, as determined by the Commission, and of the duly accredited citizens’ arm of the Commission,” the poll body said.
An election officer may also request a transfer of the canvassing venue – one where COVID-19 protocols can be more easily complied with – before the Comelec Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Operations by November 30.
The resolution on canvassing is the latest Comelec document to reflect changes in protocols compared to past elections, so that the risks posed by the pandemic will be taken into account.
The election body, in the past, also released guidelines on the safe conduct of candidacy filing, and campaigning for the 2022 polls.
Chairpersons and members of the boards of canvassers will also benefit from an increase in honoraria – from P12,000 in 2019 to P14,000 in the 2022 polls.
Election officers, Comelec lawyers, or permanent poll body appointees usually head a BOC, whether at the municipal, city, district, or provincial level.
Local government treasurers, prosecutors, and district or division school officials are the usual members of the BOC.
Consolidation and canvassing system operators – who must be adept at information technology – will enjoy the same honorarium as that of the members of the canvassing board. – Rappler.com