Malacañang on Monday said it respects the recommendation of an official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for mail voting in the May 2022 national and local elections.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said she believes the turnout of votes will be “high” if there is mail voting.
“We respect that recommendation coming as it does from a legal luminary within the Comelec and under the Constitution it is tasked of course with the supervision and conduct of elections,” he said in a Palace briefing.
Roque, a lawyer, said he was not sure if there would be a need to amend the Omnibus Election Code before mail voting is allowed, but will leave it to the wisdom of Comelec.
“Ang hindi ko lang po sigurado kung kinakailangan pang maamyendahan iyong Omnibus Election Code para ma-include iyong mail voting. Pero (What I’m unsure of is whether there’s a need to amend the Omnibus Election Code to include mail voting. But) we leave that to the wisdom of the Comelec,” he added.
He also encouraged Filipinos to register and vote during the 2022 Philippine polls.
“Hinihikayat natin ang lahat na pupuwede na magrehistro. Magrehistro po kayo at pagdating po ng halalan sa Mayo 2022 dapat po lumabas at bumoto dahil ito’y obligasyon natin sa ating Inang Bayan (We encourage everyone to register. Please register and when the May 2022 election arrives, you must go out and vote because it is our obligation to our Motherland),” he said.
In her official Twitter account last Friday, Guanzon said she agreed with House Bill 7572 of Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo which will allow senior citizens to vote by mail amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Turn out of votes will be high if we have mail voting, I agree with the Bill of Cong @TeacherStellaQ but the Philippine Postal Service @philpost must be efficient and impartial,” she said in her Tweet.
She pointed out that the US and Korea were able to prove that mail voting “works”.
“More [persons with disability], elderly, pregnant women can vote if by mail. @COMELEC has official comment favoring provisions of House Bill of @TeacherStellaQ,” she added.
Currently, voting by mail is already being used by the Comelec but for overseas voting.
Guanzon said it would be good if the Local Absentee Voting (LAV) system will be expanded by allowing more sectors to vote ahead of Election Day.
The LAV allows specific sectors to cast their votes for national posts ahead of the general public. (PNA)