The upcoming filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) of election aspirants has prompted the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to tweak its rule for individuals comprising authorized persons outside of residence, or APORs.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced during the “Laging Handa” public briefing Friday, Sept. 24 the inclusion of all Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials and employees as APORs.
This decision was reached during an IATF meeting Thurday, he said.
Also considered as APORS during the filing of the certificates of nomination and certificate of acceptance of nomination for party-list groups; and COCs and certificates of nomination and acceptance (CONA) of poll aspirants are the chairperson/president, or in their absence the secretary-general or authorized representative of the political party, sectoral party, organization or coalition under the party-list system; aspirants or their authorized representatives; companions as authorized under Comelec Resolution No. 10717; and Comelec officials/personnel in connection with the submission of hard copies of the COCs and related documents/materials to the Comelec Main Office, Roque said.
The filing of COCs for the May 2022 national elections will take place from October 1 to 8. The period traditionally marks the start of “election season” in the Philippines.
It should be noted that under the current granular lockdowns being imposed via the Alert Level System (ALS) in the National Capital Region (NCR), only healthcare workers and returning and leaving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are considered APORs.
The limited scope of APORs is the task force’s way of controlling the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), especially the more dangerous Delta variant.