House Deputy Majority Leader Mikey Arroyo on Thursday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) if it is considering postponing the 2022 elections due to health and safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arroyo made the remark during the House panel deliberations of the proposed 2021 budget of the poll body.
During the briefing, Arroyo asked the Comelec if it already has a "Plan B" for the 2022 polls if the pandemic is still ongoing by that time.
"I've been doing my share of reading about this pandemic and it seems that, assuming for the sake of argument that nothing goes wrong, the earliest that the vaccine will be available in our country for everybody, maybe September or October next year," he said.
"The thought that we will postpone the elections, has that ever triggered in your mind?" he asked.
In response, Comelec chairperson Sheriff Abas they are not considering moving the 2022 elections to a later date as of this time.
"Hindi po talaga. Because alam naman natin that this is a constitutional mandate at fixed yung nilagay," he said.
Comelec executive director Bartolome Sinocruz said the commission is now considering measures in order to ensure public safety during the elections, and that includes conducting the polls for two days.
"Insofar as Election Day, we're looking at the idea of holding the elections not just in one day but for two days. So para ma-regulate natin yung mga boboto. Some precincts will vote on the first day, some precincts will vote on the second day," he said.
"We are assuming that the COVID-19, although we are optimistic na by the time na 2022, may vaccine na, we're assuming na baka hindi rin mangyari yun so yung mga preparasyon namin will include anti-COVID measures," he added.
Nevertheless, Abas said they will take into consideration Arroyo's query.
"Well taken yung comment ni Cong. Arroyo. Medyo mabigat na usapin yan but rest assured titignan natin kung paano magdedevelop ang sitwasyon natin sa health," he said.
The next election is set for May 9, 2022. — RSJ, GMA News