DAGUPAN CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Pangasinan will strictly implement health protocols and other rules to ensure safety during the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) in the province from October 1 to 8.
In an interview on Tuesday, provincial election supervisor lawyer Marino Salas said only one aspiring candidate and two companions will be allowed inside the Comelec office at a time.
Other candidates will stay at the tent or holding area outside the provincial Comelec office, which is located at the city’s People’s Astrodome.
Media interviews will also be done at the media’s tent outside the office.
“They should ensure that their COC is with complete data and properly filled up. All the documents are downloadable at Comelec’s official website and these are for free. They should review it beforehand so that when they file the COC, there won’t be any problems,” Salas said.
He said the process of filing the COCs will only take about five minutes if all documents are fully prepared.
He added office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“On the last day, we will allow them to file even beyond 5 p.m. as long as they are already (within a) 30-meter radius within the vicinity of the Comelec office. They just list their names with our personnel,” Salas said.
He said the aspiring candidate and his or her two companions are considered authorized persons outside residence (APOR).
Salas said the city government has given them permission to use the parking area in front of their office, as well as along Tapuac road fronting the astrodome.
Other designated parking areas are inside the Dagupan City National High School-Senior High School compound and at the parking area of Ednas School.
Salas said they conducted coordination meetings with their counterparts at the provincial police, Department of the Interior and Local Government, local Inter-Agency Task Force, health unit, and the Department of Education for the implementation of the guidelines.
Meanwhile, the deadline for voter registration is on September 30.
As of August 31, the number of registered voters in Pangasinan reached 2,052,000.
Salas said the next Election Registration Board (ERB) hearing is set for October 19 when the total number of registered voters will be finalized. (PNA)