DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and other support line agencies of the government have assured the constituents of Davao City and other provinces of its readiness for the conduct of the midterm election on Monday, May 13.
In a press conference on Wednesday, May 8, Atty. Krisna Caballero said, “all are in place” for Monday’s election.
Caballero added that the deployment of Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) to polling precincts in Davao City had already started.
Deployment of VCMs for the different provinces, towns, and cities came ahead of the city considering the distance, while other areas have difficult access through transportation, she added.
The Comelec will conduct the Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) of the VCMs on Thursday, May 9 to determine if the machines ready for Election Day on Monday.
“If in case that there will be problems, of course, we also have our contingency to replace problematic VCMs. All official ballots are in custody of the City Treasurers Office and other Municipal Treasurers Office, and are all in order. All election paraphernalia are complete for the election,” Caballero said.
In Davao City, there are 1,139 VCMs and 1,139 voter registration verification machines (VRVMs) for the three districts.
The Comelec also assures the effectiveness of the VCMs and VRVMs when asked if they already have a contingency plan whenever disaster happens like an earthquake that recently felt successively in many areas of Mindanao, as well as problem in the transmission during heavy rains and cloudy skies.
“If the machine cannot transmit the votes, we have the contingency procedures to make,” said Caballero.
The Comelec will provide a satellite machine that can capture signals in those areas identified to have difficulty in the signal, with no signal location or during heavy rains.
Part of its contingency procedure is to carry done the VCMs to the nearest polling places where they can transmit the votes or directly carry it directly to the Board of Election Canvassers, Caballero said.
Areas of concern
The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) on the other hand will deploy additional personnel to the identified 52 barangays under the Code Orange.
DCPO Director P/Col. Alexander Tagum said barangays under Code Orange are located in the hinterland districts of Paquibato, Marilog and Baguio, and some parts of Calinan and Buhangin areas with monitored previous presence and operations of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
“We will also be covered by the full battalion of the 1003rd Brigade to support the security operation of the local police. It all started to ensure peace and security in these areas,” Tagum said.
Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office in Davao Region (PRO-11) will also provide additional police personnel to the provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur, said P/Col. Eden Ugale.
Ugale said PRO-11 is closely monitoring the two provinces due to the intense political rivalry.
In Davao del Norte, the PNP is still conducting an investigation to the killing of Rogelio Serrano Jr., an administrative aide and brother of the incumbent mayor of New Corella, Davao del Norte.
“The regional director has instructed to deploy additional police officers in the provinces of Davao del Norte and closely monitor the first district of Davao del Sur,” Ugale said. (davaotoday.com)