Survey says 46% of Filipinos won’t vote if COVID threats persist; senators alarmed
MANILA, Philippines — A commissioned survey showed that 46 percent of Filipinos will not go out to vote in the 2022 elections if there is a high number of COVID-19 cases in their area – which had several senators alarmed.
In his privilege speech during Wednesday’s plenary session, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri presented his commissioned Pulse Asia survey and warned of a possible low voter turnout in the coming polls.
“Hindi po natin sila masisisi kung ganun ang kanilang pangamba at posisyon. Mas mahalaga naman po talaga ang buhay kaysa sa pagboto,” he said.
“Nakakatakot lang dahil posible pong ang mahahalal na mga lider ng bansa, magmula sa presidente hanggang sa konsehal, ay hindi man lamang nagmula sa boto ng mayorya ng mga botanteng Filipino,” Zubiri, however, added.
According to the commissioned survey, 46 percent of the respondents will not go out to vote if the number of cases is high in their barangay/villages while 35 percent said they will still go to polling precincts to cast their vote. Nineteen percent of the respondents said they are undecided on the matter.
As of writing, Zubiri has yet to disclose further details on the survey, such as the number of respondents and when it was conducted.
“My fear is that if we are unable to meet our target by the end of the year, this does not only pose a bigger threat to the health, safety and lives of our people, and our economy but also to our electoral system,” the senator said.
Zubiri then called for a faster COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Joel Villanueva backed Zubiri’s call.
“I am in full support of Sen. Zubiri’s call not only to fast track (the rollout) but also to look into these very concerning figures considering that we are a few months away (from the elections),” he added.
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, meanwhile, suggested that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) expand the voting to two days.
“Baka pwedeng gawin ng Comelec na gawing dalawang araw yung election para hindi magkakumpo-kumpulan sa presinto ang mga botante,” Dela Rosa said.
“Kasi nga if itong eleksyon na ito will not reflect the true will of the Filipino people, baka magkaroon tayo ng president or vice president na masasabi nating President of the republic of the vaccinated or the president of the republic of ‘walang takot sa COVID’,” he added.
Dela Rosa also called on the government’s pandemic task force to ensure that the country reaches herd immunity before the elections in May 2022 so that the public will no longer fear going out to vote.
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