Comelec notes DOH’s objection to antigen testing during COC filing
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) noted on Tuesday the Department of Health (DOH)’s opposition to the use of a COVID-19 antigen test as a screening method during the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC).
“The COMELEC notes the DOH’s statement, but also notes that antigen tests are accepted by the House of Representatives as a requirement for entry into their premises,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told reporters in a message.
Comelec earlier said that an antigen testing booth would be placed outside the venue of the COC filing for individuals who would fail to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they do not recommend the move as the antigen test should be used properly to ensure accurate results.
On the other hand, Jimenez said that the poll body had not changed the deadline of the voter registration period so far despite calls from legislators.
“The Commission has, thus far, not amended its position not to extend the deadline for voter registration. Congress unquestionably holds the power of the purse,” Jimenez said.
“For its part, COMELEC – as the sole government entity tasked with the conduct of elections – can only do its utmost to ensure that it fulfills its mandate to hold secure, accurate, and free and fair elections,” he added.
Both chambers of Congress earlier called for adjusting the voter registration period, which is set to end on September 30, as the strict community quarantine prevented individuals from going outdoors.
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