In order for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to cast their votes on May 2022 general elections while in isolation, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is eyeing to adopt the voting process being implemented for persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said that such policy for COVID-19 patients is still being discussed by the officials of the poll body.
“Yung mga naka quarantine or nasa hospital etc.—-ang pinag aaralan ng Komisyon ngayon ay yung procedure katulad ng ginagawa sa mga PDL or persons deprived of liberty o mga preso—na pinupuntahan yan sa mga kulungan at doon sila bumoboto (Those who are in quarantine or in hospital —-what the Commission is studying now is the procedure similar to what is done with PDLs or persons deprived of liberty or prisoners—wherein election personnel go to prisons for them to be able to vote),” said Jimenez in an online forum on Sunday, Aug. 29.
Jimenez said that the Comelec is doing its best to ensure the voting rights of COVID-19 patients come election day.
“Sa paniniwala ng Comelec, hindi po disqualifying ang COVID. Sa paniniwala namin just because may COVID ka, hindi ibig sabihin hindi ka pwedeng pabotohin (In Comelec’s point of view, COVID-19 is not a disqualification criteria. We believed that just because you have COVID, it doesn’t mean you cannot vote),” said Jimenez.
“Ginagawan namin ng paraan using the model of absentee voting ng PDL. Hopefully, we can nail that down para masiguro natin yung voting rights ng ating mga COVID-19 positive cases (We are looking at the method using the PDL’s model of absentee voting. Hopefully, we can nail that down so that we can ensure the voting rights of our COVID-19 positive cases),” he added.
Meanwhile, Jimenez said that health screening stations will be set up in the different polling places.
“Diyan sa health screening stations, malalaman natin kung ano ang sitwasyon ng inyong kalusugan. Kasi kukuhanan ka ng temperatura, magbibigay ka ng health declaration, and so on and so forth. Meron mga tao diyan na mag eevaluate ng iyong kalusugan (At the health screening stations, there will be a temperature check and you will give a health declaration, and so on and so forth. There are people who will evaluate your health),” he said.
“Ngayon, kung ikaw ay suspect o meron kang…mataas ang temperatura mo, inuubo ka, etc–ay ida-divert po kayo sa isang isolation polling place na tinatawag. Yung isolation polling place natin, diyan ka boboto kung meron kang sintomas or kung pinagdududahan na meron kang COVID (Now, if your temperature is high, you have a cough, etc—you will be diverted to an isolation polling place. You can cast your vote at the isolation polling place if you have symptoms or if it is suspected that you have COVID),” he added.