Ormoc City

FAST FACTS: Ormoc City’s October 8 plebiscite

Michelle Abad
FAST FACTS: Ormoc City’s October 8 plebiscite
Residents of Ormoc City are set to decide if they agree to ratify an ordinance consolidating 28 barangays into three

MANILA, Philippines – On Saturday, October 8, residents of Ormoc City in Leyte province will decide if they want to consolidate 28 barangays in the city into just three.

The vote is based on the Commission on Elections’ Resolution No. 10796, which cited a January 2021 Ormoc ordinance merging the villages into Barangays South, East, and West. The plebiscite will be done to ratify Ordinance No. 52.

Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres Gomez earlier said combining the barangays would facilitate better management and development of the villages. Meanwhile, Councilor Lalaine Marcos said in a Philippine News Agency report that the 28 villages could not meet the minimum requirements on population, as some have only 75 residents or less.

The Local Government Code requires that a barangay must have a population of at least 2,000.

Under Ordinance No. 52 and the Comelec resolution, the following would be merged into Barangay South:

  • Barangay District 1
  • Barangay District 2
  • Barangay District 3
  • Barangay District 4
  • Barangay District 5
  • Barangay District 6
  • Barangay District 7
  • Barangay District 8
  • Barangay District 12
  • Barangay District 13
  • Barangay District 15
  • Barangay District 17
  • Barangay District 23
  • Barangay District 27

The following villages would be merged into Barangay East:

  • Barangay District 9
  • Barangay District 10
  • Barangay District 11
  • Barangay District 16
  • Barangay District 18
  • Barangay District 25
  • Barangay District 28

And the following merged into Barangay West:

  • Barangay District 14
  • Barangay District 19
  • Barangay District 20
  • Barangay District 21
  • Barangay District 22
  • Barangay District 24
  • Barangay District 26

Meanwhile, the ordinance retained Barangay District 29 as one barangay, but will be renamed Barangay North.

Dates to know

The information and campaign period for the plebiscite runs from September 24 to October 6. Officials may hold barangay assemblies or pulong-pulong. Removing, destroying, defacing, tampering, or preventing distribution of lawful plebiscite propaganda is prohibited.

From September 24, the following acts are not allowed based on the Omnibus Election Code:

  • Appointing or hiring new employees, creating and filling new positions, or giving salary increases, remuneration, or privileges (until October 7)
  • Constructing public works, delivery of materials for public works, and issuing treasury warrants or similar devices (until October 7)
  • Releasing and disbursing public funds (until October 7)
  • Fundraising through dances, lotteries, cockfights, etc. (until October 8)
  • Using armored land, water, or air crafts (until October 8)
  • Appointing or using special policemen, special or confidential agents, or the like (until October 8)

Here’s what plebiscite day, October 8, will look like:

  • 7 am to 3 pm – Casting of votes
  • 3 pm onwards – Counting of votes
  • Not later than 6 pm – Convening of the Barangay Plebiscite Board of Canvassers
  • 6 pm until finished – Canvassing of votes and proclamation of results

Soliciting votes or campaigning are among the prohibited acts on plebiscite day.

A gun ban is also being enforced in the city from September 24 until the plebiscite period ends on October 15.

The Comelec has accredited the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections as citizens’ arm for the October 8 poll. NAMFREL said it deployed a three-member mission to “look into the issues surrounding the plebiscite, as well as to observe the process on plebiscite day.”

Ormoc City has a population of around 230,998 based on the 2020 census of the Philippine Statistics Authority. – Rappler.com

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer with the investigative unit of Rappler. She also covers overseas Filipinos and the rights of women and children.