MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday reminded aspirants for national positions in next year’s elections are only allowed to have three companions when filing their certificates of candidacy (COC) which will start on Friday.
“For candidates from the president to senators, we allow a maximum of three companions,” Comelec chairperson Sheriff Abas said in a television interview.
“For party-list, we only allow two representatives. We will regulate the flow of candidates one at a time,” he added.
He said they will entertain candidates on a “first come, first serve” basis.
“Those who arrived first will be allowed to enter the venue first,” Abas added.
The filing of COCs for president, vice president, senator, and party-list representative, will be held at the Sofitel Garden Tent in Pasay City.
Meanwhile, the filing of COCs for local positions will be held at local Comelec offices in cities and municipalities.
Provide antigen test
He also reminded that those who will be allowed at the Sofitel Garden Tent must present as a negative result of antigen test or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, which was taken within 24 hours.
“The filing area is located in Pasay City. We already have a layout, before you enter, they need to show us the negative result. If they did not bring a result. We have an antigen testing booth onsite,” Abas said.
In case, an aspirant has symptoms, he/she will be brought to an isolated area where medical personnel will attend to him/her.
A duly authorized representative will be allowed to file the COC on his/her behalf.
“We an ambulance on standby, just in case it is needed. We also have coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) for security, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for traffic. Our partner agencies are all ready for the one-week long filing of COCs,” he added.
Filing of COCs outside Metro Manila
According to the Comelec chairman, they ordered their people in the field to look for big spaces in the province or municipalities where to hold the filing process.
“We have an order to our personnel to find suitable and big areas within the municipality or province. They were also given an order to meet the minimum health protocol especially social distancing,” he added.
On the other hand, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they decided to change the venue for the filing period for the security of the aspirants and also to prevent crowding.
“We located it there to provide better security for our filers, prevent crowds from forming outside the filling area. One of the main things of the filing of COCs this year is that we really went to a great extent to make sure that the filing would be sober,” he added.
The filing of COCs will begin on October 1 and will run until October 8. Aspirants may file their COCs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
18K positions available
A total of 18,180 elective positions in the national, local, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are at stake in next year’s elections
The following elective seats are one seat for president, one seat for vice president, 12 senators, and 63 seats for party-list representatives.
Local posts include 253 district representatives, 81 governors, 81 vice governors, 782 provincial board members, 146 city mayors, 146 city vice mayors, 1,650 city councilors; 1,488 municipal mayors; 1,488 municipal vice mayors; and 11,908 municipal councilors.
Meanwhile, 40 party representatives, 32 parliamentary district representatives, and eight reserved and sectoral representatives, positions are available for the BARMM polls. (PNA)