Senior Citizens who are 65 years and older will be allowed to leave from their residence if they intend to file a certificate of candidacy (COC) in October for the May 2022 national and local elections.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that they will be considered “Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) during the COC filing with the Comelec from October 1 to 8, 2021.
Roque said that the government’s decision to allow elderlies to personally file their COC is “regardless of community quarantine classification and vaccination status” of the persons concerned.
The government’s decision is supported by Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who said that the intention is “good” as she emphasized that “senior citizens must avoid crowds.”
Guanzon also said that the Comelec will choose a convenient location with a huge area and parking space so that the health protocols will be observed, especially social distancing measures during the weeklong filing of the COC.
While these developments would be beneficial to elderly politicians, the question however remains: How will the Comelec go about this?
The Comelec has to note that India’s Covid count increased when politicians were permitted to hold large crowds during political events. They must ensure that candidates will limit their companions and that people should not converge into the Intramuros area during that period as it can potentially become a “super spreader” event.
Covid-19, the Delta Variant, and just recently the Lambda variant will leave people vulnerable if the Comelec fails to issue proper guidelines and make sure that all candidates follow the rules.