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Philippines kicks off 45-day campaign period for local bets

Candidates vying for around 18,000 local positions unleashed their creativity in wooing voters as the Philippines began Friday the 45-day campaign period for local elections.

According to Mariz Umali’s report over 24 Oras, the hopefuls competed for the attention of their constituents by holding colorful motorcades or even hiring marching bands while touring around their respective areas.

In Laoag City, a mascot joined the motorcade and gave away candies to bystanders. 

Authorities, however, are now more alert as the campaign period starts.

In Cavite City, security personnel started manning Commission on Elections  (Comelec) checkpoints even before daybreak to inspect incoming motorists before entering the province.

Officials of Comelec-Koronadal, meanwhile, conducted “Oplan Baklas” in South Cotabato and removed illegal posters and other campaign paraphernalia.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it is surveying 488 municipalities and 52 cities that are considered “hotspots” for the Eleksyon 2022.

Around 39 municipalities and seven cities, meanwhile, are placed under Red Alert after they recorded the highest incidences of violence in the current polls.

The poll body urged the public to continue observing the minimum public health safety protocols including wearing masks to prevent the campaign activities from becoming “superspreader” events.

“Minimum health protocol po susundin po natin hanggat maaari. Tayo po’y nakaligtas sa COVID, bumaba po ang incidence natin dahil sa lagi nating pagsusuot ng face mask. Therefore po, papanatilihin natin yan at palaging magdi-disinfect ng kamay at yung social distancing kahit pa nga 100 percent capacity,” Comelec commissioner George Garcia said.

(We should still follow the minimum health protocols. We survived COVID, the incidence got lower because of wearing masks. Therefore, we should retain that. We should also disinfect our hands and practice social distancing even in venues used to their 100 percent capacity.)—Sundy Mae Locus/LDF, GMA News