Comelec: Vaccination card, negative COVID test not required for voting

September 12, 2021 People's Journal 216 views

The Commission on Elections said Filipinos do not need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative RT-PCR test results to cast their votes.

“We’re not going to require [vaccination] cards, RT-PCR test results,” Comelec director and spokesperson James Jimenez said during an online briefing with CNN Philippines on Saturday.

Since the vaccination drive started in March, more than 15 million are now fully protected against the coronavirus — still far from the government’s 50 to 70 million target.

As of July, Jimenez said 60.46 million Filipinos are already registered for the 2022 general elections. He said the poll body is on track to record 62 million registered voters.

Jimenez also said every voting center will have a health screening. Comelec will also cooperate with the Inter-Agency Task Force for contact tracing, he added.

Asked if the poll body will tap digital tools for contact tracing forms, Jimenez said while it is ideal in an urban setting, this is not possible in provinces as not every Filipino has a smartphone.

Jimenez also hopes the IATF would consider the election as an essential activity so Filipinos could smoothly go to their polling precinct regardless of quarantine status.

Will teachers be tested for COVID-19?

Jimenez said Comelec and the Department of Education are still discussing the testing of teachers who will man voting precincts.

The official acknowledged that polling personnel should be tested for COVID-19. However, he said funds for that remain an issue.

“Inaalam pa kung kakayanin natin (We’re still studying if we can handle that)…Who will shoulder the cost? That’s something we’re discussing with the DepEd,” he said.

Jimenez also said Comelec will increase the poll honoraria of teachers. “Medyo ang kaya lang ma-guarantee ay mandated increase in their honoraria,” he noted. CNN Philippines Staff