Voting precincts fused in quake-damaged schools
SEVERAL schools in Cebu City that suffered damage during the recent earthquake had to improvise for yesterday’s barangay elections.
To deal with the classroom shortage, some clustered precincts fused seven precincts instead of three.
Ten clusters in barangay Tejero had five precincts each instead of only three. For barangay Tinago, five clusters had four precincts each and seven clusters in barangay T. Padilla had four precincts each.
Aside from barangay Tejero, barangays T. Padilla, Tinago and Parian were also in the campus.
Marchel Sarno, election officer of Cebu City’s north district said they have resorted to having more voters in a clustered precinct rather than compromise the safety of voters and Board of Election Tellers in structurally unsound classrooms.
He said it’s okay to fuse precincts in a room so as to accommodate the voters.
School officials said that they prefer to combine precincts instead of using makeshift precincts like tents because it was easier to control voters coming in and out of classrooms compared to an open air environment.
In Camp Lapu-Lapu Elementary School in barangay Apas, only the ground floor classrooms of the Arroyo building were used as precincts as the building’s second and third floors haven’t been cleared for occupancy two weeks after the devastating earthquake.
“We planned to use the classrooms of the Apas National High School (located just across their school) but it was not approved by Comelec,” said school principal Teresita Manzanades.
Instead, they used their school canteen and feeding center as alternative voting precincts.
Manzanades said they still won’t be using the twelve classrooms during the resumption of classes on November 4.
Grade 5 and special elementary, grades 2 and 3, and some grades 4 and 5 classes will have to share classrooms during classes.
The rooms will only be used half-day by each class sharing. First half will be from 6:20 am to 12 noon while the second half will be from 12:20 pm to 6:20 p.m.
Meanwhile in barangay Lahug, the barangay with the biggest voting population of 22,087 in the city’s north district, there were more than enough rooms even if some suffered minor damage from the earthquake.
According to Lahug Elementary School principal Joelyza Arcilla, they have 106 classrooms while only 58 clustered precincts are assigned to their school. /Correspondent Jose Santino Bunachita
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