Comelec hopes for high voter turnout in Palawan plebiscite

Published February 15, 2021, 9:24 AM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is hoping for a high voter turnout in the March 13 Palawan plebiscite.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“We would like to have a high voter turnout for this plebiscite, definitely,” Comelec Commissioner Antonio T. Kho Jr. said in a virtual press briefing last week.

“We hope and we encourage voters [to participate] to have a high turnout,” he added.

The commissioner-in-charge of the plebiscite, however, said that they cannot really say if there will be high voter turnout, considering the threat of the coronaviris disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“We cannot really determine, at this point in time, if there will be a high voter turnout as this will be the first time we will be holding an electoral exercise with a public health emergency,” said Kho. 

“Because of this COVID-19 situation, our expectations are fluid,” he added. 
Based on Comelec records, there are a total of 490,639 registered voters eligible to participate in next month’s plebiscite. 

The Comelec originally scheduled the conduct of the plebiscite to ratify the division of the province of Palawan into Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur on May 11, 2020 as provided under Republic Act No. 11259.

The law provides that the plebiscite shall be held on the second Monday of May 2020.

In April 2020, the Comelec suspended the May 11 plebiscite due to the pandemic and government’s imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)  in Luzon. 

On October 8, 2020, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the proposal to already hold the plebiscite in Palawan.

The poll body then set the plebiscite on March 13, 2021.

 
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