Proposed IATF election guidelines thumb down mass gatherings
MANILA, Philippines — The government’s COVID-19 task force has begun discussing protocols for the upcoming 2022 national elections and has guaranteed that mass gatherings remain a “big no-no,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Wednesday.
Año said it was President Rodrigo Duterte who brought up the matter before the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases meeting last Saturday.
“Nabanggit ng Pangulo yan noong kami ay nagpulong last Saturday, kung paano yung magiging landscape ng election campaign before the 2022 elections. At kailangan makipagugnayan din ang Comelec [Commission on Elections] sa IATF para makabuo tayo ng mekanismo,” Año said in an interview with Teleradyo, when asked about guidelines for the upcoming polls.
(The President mentioned this when we met last Saturday, what will be the landscape of the election campaign before the 2022 elections. The Comelec should coordinate with the IATF to craft mechanisms.)
“Sinabi naman ni [Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque na we will reach out for the Comelec para mapagusapan natin ano yung magiging flow ng election period. Starting sa filing ng candidacy and onwards hanggang election day,” he added.
(Secretary Duque said we will reach out to the Comelec to discuss the flow of the election period, starting with the filing of candidacy until the election day.)
On campaigning, Año said they will “never allow” mass gatherings, suggesting that candidates instead use the “hybrid” format where there are persons physically present and some attending via teleconference.
“We will never allow, hanggang hindi pa natin talaga nasosolve ang pandemic na ito na magkakaroon ng mass gathering. That’s a big no-no,” Año said.
(As long as we haven’t solved this pandemic, we will never allow mass gatherings. That’s a big no-no.)
“Maaari siguro parang hybrid din yan. Kung mangangampanya sila, yung physically present adhering sila sa health protocols. Pero pwedeng may kasamang online or Zoom para doon sa mga hindi makakaattend,” he added.
(Perhaps it can be hybrid. If they will campaign, those physically present must adhere to health protocols. But those who could not attend may join online or Zoom.)
The Comelec said face-to-face campaign may still be allowed, provided health protocols like physical distancing will strictly be followed.
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