Comelec mulls 2-day plebiscite in Palawan

    498

    WITH the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) expected to linger until next year, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is now considering holding a plebiscite in Palawan for two days.

    In a virtual media forum, Elections spokesman James Jimenez disclosed that the poll body is now looking at the feasibility of holding the plebiscite to ratify the division of the province of Palawan into three provinces in not just a single day.

    “One of the things that the Comelec is considering for Palawan is the possibility of holding the plebiscite in two days,” said Jimenez. “This isn’t a done deal yet. It is still being studied.”

    The possibility of holding a two-day plebiscite is part of the poll body’s efforts to prevent overcrowding inside polling precincts.

    Among the options they are looking into, he related, is dividing the voters based on their surnames but noted how the distribution of surnames in the Philippines may pose a challenge.

    “There are a lot more Ds and Cs, than Js and Zs. So that is a challenge,” said Jimenez.

    Another option is to divide the voters by gender with males voting on a different day than females. And third, Jimenez said they are looking at dividing voters based on their polling precinct numbers.

    “But how are you gonna tell the people where and when will they vote? All of these proposals have their individual challenges,” Jimenez said.

    Republic Act No. 11259 tasked the Comelec to conduct a plebiscite for the creation of Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur.

    Subsequently, the poll body scheduled the conduct of the plebiscite to ratify the division of the province of Palawan into three provinces on May 11, 2020.