Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar ordered Friday, Sept. 24, the deployment of police officers in election registration sites to ensure that minimum public health standards are enforced amid the prevailing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Eleazar said the PNP is anticipating the flocking of crowd in Commission on Election (COMELEC) sites for a last minute registration with only a week remaining before the period closes for the national and local elections in May 2022.
“That is why I ordered all our chiefs of police and unit commanders to anticipate this by deploying enough number of personnel in various COMELEC registration sites to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of voter’s registration because of the continuous threat of COVID-19,” he said.
The PNP Chief said he was wary of reports that people were trooping to COMELEC sites and satellite registration offices in malls to take advantage of the remaining dyas before the registration period closes. The voter registration process is scheduled until Sept. 30.
As such, cops on the ground were instructed to coordinate with local government units (LGUs) so they could render assistance in areas that are frequented by the registrants.
Eleazar acknowledged that there were calls from the Congress to extend the registration period until next month but he emphasized it is equally important for the public to adhere to the minimum public health standards while queueing up to prevent superspreader events.
“Mahalaga na magparehistro upang marining ang inyong boses sa darating na halalan subalit mahalaga rin na matiyak ang inyong kaligtasan sa pamamagitan ng pagsunod sa mga public health protocols upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng coronavirus sa inyong mga lugar (It is important for you to register so your voice can ve heard in the upcoming elections but it is also important to ensure your safety by obeying the public health protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in your areas),” the country’s top cop noted.
The COMELEC has yet to decide whether or not to extend the voter’s registration period.