Dabawenyos told to observe health protocols on polls day

The Davao City COVID-19 Task Force and the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Davao reiterated the call for Dabawenyos to adhere to health protocols on election day, May 9, 2022.

Under Executive Order (EO) No. 11, Series of 2022, which remains valid, the wearing of face masks is mandatory.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, the spokesperson of the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, earlier said that since the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains, the people needs to stay disciplined.

She said that in a gathering, whether it is an election, wedding, birthday, or a simple friendly get-together, there’s a great chance of spreading infection. Thus she reminded Dabawenyos to remain vigilant as COVID-19 still exists, underscoring the importance of wearing face masks at all times except when eating or drinking and refraining from engaging in high-risk behaviors and activities.

Aside from wearing face masks, getting fully vaccinated and boostered, and practicing proper hand hygiene, she also reminded voters to bring their stuff, such as ball pens, when they go to their designated polling precincts.

She added, “Dugay naman nato na gina-encourage sa mga establishments and offices. Mas maayo to bring your own stuff kasi wala man ta kabalo kinsa naggunit ana and definitely, kinahanglan gyud mag-hand hygiene. You have to wash your hands, bring your alcohol with you kung kinahanglan nimo i-disinfect isa ka bagay nga gunitan nimo (We have been encouraging it in establishments and offices. It’s better to bring your stuff since we don’t know who also held those things and definitely, hand hygiene is vital. You have to wash your hands, and bring your alcohol with you if you need to disinfect something that you need to hold). Again, face mask, hand hygiene, and bring your stuff.”

Comelec-Davao Assistant Regional Director lawyer Gay Enumerables said that they even have a resolution that aside from the face masks, the wearing of face shield is also required during election day but she was quick to add that it still depends on the IATF guidelines.

“Magdala ug ballpen, suot face mask. Pagsulod sa eskwelahan, duna’y thermal scanning, kung normal ang temperatura mudiretso sila sa voter’s assistance desk. Kung wala sila kabalo asa sila nga cluster precinct nalista didto nila tan-awon ang precinct number ug sequence number (Bring your ballpen and wear your face mask. When entering the school, there’s thermal scanning at the entrance, if the temperature is normal, they can proceed to the voter’s assistance desk. If they don’t know their cluster precint, they can check their precinct number and sequence number there),” Atty. Enumerables said during the Madayaw Davao program of 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on April 21, 2022.

However, she said that if a voter has a temperature of 37.5 or more, he or she will be assisted to the isolation polling place (IPP), a classroom near the entrance, by medical personnel. A ballot will be handed to them and they can cast and feed their ballots inside the IPP. After voting, they can then leave the IPP.

But she also said high temperature may be due to the hot weather condition so they may be asked to rest awhile, go under a shade, or drink water before they go through the thermal scanning again.

Atty. Enumerables also reminded voters to come early and have a list of their candidates ready. She added that wearing t-shirts with a candidate’s name or photo is prohibited, as well as taking a picture of one’s ballot or taking a selfie with it.

She also said, “There’s no campaigning on election day for that would be an election offense. Do not have any unnecessary markings on your ballot but only shade the ovals or circles fully. Otherwise, it might be rejected by the voter counting machine (VCM). If you have shaded a candidate then later realized you shaded the wrong one, you cannot cross it and shade another because that would already be overvoting and that position will not be counted at all.”

All VCMs, according to her, have arrived and are being stored inside the compound of Comelec’s logistic partner. These are guarded by personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP). The ballots are expected to arrive by the end of April. CIO