How would the possible conduct of granular lockdowns in different locations all over the country affect voting during the May 2022 national elections? Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has an idea of how that might go down.
Roque commented on this hypothetical situation Tuesday, Sept. 21 during a virtual press conference. Before this, he was asked about Malacañang's take regarding fears of a "failure of election" if voters residing in areas under granular lockdown won't be allowed to go to poll precincts.
"Well, we will get there po, we will answer that situation kapag nandoon na po tayo (when we get there)," the Palace official said.
"Alam naman po ng Comelec (Commission on Elections) kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng failure of election (Comelec knows what having a failure of election means).
"Kung sila po ay naka-lockdown, iri-reset lang ng Comelec ang petsa ng botohan kung mayroon pang mga areas under lockdown pagdating po ng 2022 (If the location is under lockdown, Comelec will reset the date for the casting of votes, that is, if there would still be lockdowns come 2022)," Roque said.
Localized granular lockdown are currently being imposed in the National Capital Region (NCR) on a pilot basis under the Alert Level System (ALS) strategy. Since this is the pilot phase, it's not far-fetched to think that the national government would tap this strategy in areas outside Metro Manila in the near future.
Elections in the Philippines have enjoyed the benefits of automation since the 2010 national polls, but the May 2022 edition will be the first time that Filipinos will vote during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Roque shared his optimism that the government's ongoing mass inoculation program would make a difference come poll day next year.
"Kampante po ako, kagaya ng sinabi po ng ating mga dalubhasa, habang dumadami po ang ating mga nababakunahan, kapag nagkaroon na po tayo ng population protection or containment, tingin ko naman po makakapagbalik-buhay tayong lahat (I'm confident, like what the experts have said, I think we can return to our normal lives as more and more get people vaccinated and we achieve population protection or containment)," he said.
Roque, a former congressman, is part of the ruling Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Senate slate for May 2022.