Issue of May 5, 2019

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COMELEC prepared for final testing and sealing of VCMs
by Redjie Melvic Cawis / PIA

COORDINATED -- Benguet Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Nicasio Jacob (3rd from l) assured that the Commission on Elections and the different government agencies and private sector are all ready for the May 13 midterm elections in the province during the 3rd Benguet Provincial Joint Security Control Center command conference at the Benguet Capitol on May 2. Also in photo are BCPO Deputy City Director for Operations Lt/Col. Freddie Lazona, Benguet Provincial Police Office Director Col. Lyndon Mencio, and 54th Infantry Battalion Training Officer Lt. Richard Cabanilla. -- Redjie Cawis

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Commission on Elections and its partners are ready for the election process with the commitment and assurance of support from the various stakeholders from the government and the private sector to ensure a clean, honest, and peaceful election in Benguet and Baguio City on May 13.

“We, in Baguio City and Benguet, are ready for the conduct of the final testing and sealing and the election process on May 13,” Benguet Provincial Election Supervisor Nicasio Jacob said during the third Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC) command conference where government agencies and non-government organizations presented their plans and discussed the possible challenges that may occur in the conduct of the midterm elections.

In several areas in some municipalities in Benguet that could be reached by trekking for several hours, the Comelec officers and the Philippine National Police have a deployment plan that will be strictly implemented to ensure that the vote counting machines (VCMs) and other election materials would reach the different polling centers in time for the final testing and sealing and the election day itself.

In terms of the peace and order situation, Benguet Police Provincial Director Lyndon Mencio, Baguio City Police Office Acting City Director Allen Rae Co, and the Philippine Army represented by 54th Infantry Battalion Training Officer Richard Cabanilla assured that their troops are ready in securing the election materials and paraphernalia as well as the safety of the different stakeholders involved in the coming election process.

Mencio said that even with Benguet  as one of the most peaceful places, the Benguet PPO will be deploying both male and female officers to the different polling centers, areas of convergence, and the different vital installations in the province to ensure that the election process will be peaceful and orderly.

“We are on guard and we will be ready to maintain the peace and order situation of Benguet and this will be the primary duty of the Benguet PPO to ensure a safe, honest, and peaceful election,” Mencio said.

He also called on the different municipal commanders and its Comelec officers to intensify the Comelec-PNP checkpoints in their localities.

For the Department of Education, Benguet Schools Division Superintendent Marie Carolyn Verano committed that the teachers who will be serving as election registration boards will be ready to perform their duties.

DepEd-Cordillera earlier assured that teachers who will serve this election period will not be given any duty or assignment such as seminars and trainings at least several weeks before and after the election day.

The Benguet Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Benguet Red Cross also vowed to provide support during the election day with the opening of the barangay health stations and the deployment of medical personnel and responders particularly in the thickly populated polling centers.

Dr. Meliarazon  Ruiz Dulay of the PHO said that they will be on blue alert during the election day and they will task the different barangay health centers and rural health units including the district hospitals to be opened and be on alert for possible emergency situations.

The Benguet Red Cross also assured that they will be providing first aid station in areas that their volunteers could reach with the help of the PHO.

F2 Logistics Cargo Mover representative Jessica Golayan assured that their office will make the delivery of VCMs, batteries, and other election materials to be used during the final testing and sealing and the election day from the provincial hub to the different municipalities until the polling centers.

The final testing and sealing should be witnessed by the public including the different stakeholders involved in the election process  on the  dates scheduled by their local Comelec offices  to ensure that the integrity of the election process including the materials such as the VCMs will remain until the election day.

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