THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has come up with additional rules that will be imposed for the May 9, 2022, presidential elections.
It issued Comelec Resolution 10717 which contains rules and regulations on political conventions, submission of nominees by party-list groups, filing of certificates of candidacy, (COC), and certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) by political parties for the May 9 synchronized national and local polls.
Under Comelec Resolution 10717, candidates for president, vice president, senator, and party-list seat in the 2022 polls are required to present a negative RT-PCR or antigen COVID-19 test taken 24 hours prior to their filing of COC which is set for October 1 to 8.
Aside from the candidates, the poll body has required negative RT-PCR or antigen COVID-19 test result for the companions of the candidates, Comelec personnel receiving the COC or CONA, security personnel of Comelec, military and police officials as well as media personnel deployed in the COC filing.
“Pursuant to the guidelines issued by the national government, these measures should be observed at all times in the filing of COC or CONA,” the resolution read.
Comelec, however, will shoulder the antigen COVID-19 test of the following: aspirants (candidates) who do not intend to spend or cannot afford antigen testing, Comelec personnel from its law department and Comelec clerk in charge of receiving COC and CONA, personnel of the Comelec chairman and Comelec commissioners, personnel of the Comelec Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Comelec’s Events Committee, Comelec’s Administrative Services Department, Comelec’s Education and Information Department Oversight Personnel, and police/military personnel.
The free antigen testing will be conducted in a space near the receiving office/venue for filing.
The Comelec has also limited the number of companions allowed for each candidate to be able to observe social distancing of being six feet apart.
Candidates for president, vice president and senator may be accompanied by a maximum of three persons while candidates for other posts are allowed to have a maximum of two companions.
A representative of a party-list group, on the other hand, will be allowed to have one companion filing CONA. Nominees of the party-list group do not need to be physically present.
Independent candidates, on the other hand, are only allowed to have one companion.
Likewise, those who will enter the venue for the filing of COC and CONA are mandated to wear a well-fitting mask such as surgical mask, N95, or KN95 that completely covers their nose and mouth and face shield.
“Persons wearing cloth masks, with or without filter, as well as masks with valves will not be allowed inside the premises, unless there is another layer of surgical mask, N95, or KN95 worn on top of cloth mask,” a provision of the resolution also said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the receiving office will limit the number of candidates entering the venue for filing of COC and CONA and will only receive such until 5 p.m.