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Gov't eyes multi-day 2022 polls as COVID-19 pandemic persists

The government’s COVID-19 task force is looking at the possibility of having multiple voting days for the 2022 elections to avoid potential superspreader events, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum, Galvez said the traditional one-day voting "might not be feasible” due to the pandemic.

“We are looking at the possibility that the election will be a multi-day election, not a single-day election so that we can prevent the possible conglomeration of thousands of people in the precincts,” he said.

“We have seen that there are many impacts of a national election. We have seen that in the US and also in India; it further aggravates the situation.”

He said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 are working with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to find ways to reduce the spread of the virus during the elections.

“Unless otherwise provided by law,” the 1987 Constitution mandates that the elections must be held on the second Monday of May.

Galvez expressed confidence that Congress would be able to pass such legislation.

“I think we have plenty of time. We will collectively plan this with the Comelec and also maybe with the Senate and [House of Representatives],” he said.

Last May, Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr. said they were inclined to hold the elections in one day although the voting hours could be extended. —LBG, GMA News