Comelec ready for May 13 elections

James Jimenez

THE Commission on Elections’s preparations for the 2019 midterm elections are almost 100 percent complete although it admitted that its biggest concern going into the homestretch is the structural integrity of the schools and other facilities that were affected by the series of earthquakes recently.

In an interview after a press conference at the DILG building in Quezon City Thursday morning, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that the agency is now determining if the schools are “safe” when voters flock to these buildings.

Jimenez was supposed to be among the resource speakers during the media briefing but he arrived late. Nevertheless, he entertained questions from the media on the sidelines.

“If you remember, just a few days ago, we had a series of earthquakes, some stronger, some weaker but overall there is a lot of earth shaking going on and so we are worried that (it) might have an effect on the structural integrity of the buildings,” he told reporters.

The Comelec, he added, is right now closer to 95 percent finished with its preparations.

“Unlike in the provinces where there is not much concern because schools or poll designations are usually one-storey buildings, in urban areas voting centers are literally two or three storeys high which could really be of relevance,” the Comelec official said.

“So the reason is that there is some sort of hesitation to say 100 percent because we are still at this point trying to find out if you are going to move certain polling places due to unsound structures,” Jimenez said.

In case there are reports of unreliable buildings, the Conelec will immediately initiate moves to transfer all the election paraphernalia elsewhere, according to Jimenez.

“Kaya hindi ko masabi 100 percent but otherwise the machines are all in the regional hubs, some of them have already been delivered to the far-flung areas, the ballots are in place, teachers are finishing up their refresher courses so in general we are just really waiting for the day itself,” he said.