OVP suspends COVID-19 programs pending Comelec exemption
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has suspended its COVID-19 response programs while waiting for the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to allow its pandemic initiatives to continue during the campaign season.
In her weekly radio show on Sunday, Vice President Leni Robredo said the Comelec had yet to decide on her request to exempt her office’s pandemic response programs from the election ban.
The OVP’s COVID-19 initiatives include the Bayanihan E-konsulta, Vaccine Express, Swab Cab and medical assistance program.
“For now, we suspended it because we are waiting for the Comelec’s decision on the exemption. We had a hearing last week. I attended it,” Robredo said.
Last month, Robredo asked the Comelec to allow the OVP to continue its pandemic programs during the campaign period.
Section 13 of Comelec Resolution No. 10747 stated that candidates were required to secure a certificate of exception for social welfare projects and services.
“We are requesting for an exemption because while cases go down, we see the number of people asking for help every day. When we stop this, others do not have anywhere to go. So, hopefully, the exemption would be granted so we can resume,” Robredo said.
Should the Comelec grant the OVP’s request for exemption, she said she would not be present in these programs and activities.
“If we would be given an exemption, I would not go there anymore. Because if there are activities, I visit there as a way to thank volunteers,” she said.
“In fact, we redesigned our logos so it would not be identified with me,” she added.
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