Electoral campaign for 2022 polls up next on IATF’s agenda

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TAKING cue from the position taken by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) hinted on taking the proposed ban on face-to-face campaign during the 2022 polls in its agenda.

At the Laging Handa briefing, Secretary Carlito Galvez, the government’s COVID-19 response chief implementer admitted that election campaigns prompt close contacts, and as such may trigger infection of the dreaded virus from China.

“’Yun po ay tatalakayin natin with the COMELEC kasi talaga pong nakikita natin na malaki po ‘yun na challenge at risk, ‘yung magkakaroon po ng face-to-face crowd gathering,” Galvez said.

“Nakikita po natin ‘yung pagkakampanya po it will enhance ‘yung close contacts with different people,” he added.

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez earlier said that the commission was considering a ban on face-to-face campaigning as the country was still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As far as the COMELEC is concerned the pandemic won’t be over for quite a while in all practical terms,” Jimenez said.

Under the proposed ban on face-to-face campaign, activities like the giving out of materials and going outside to talk to people during campaigns might be prohibited.

“Again, we are particularly concerned about face-to-face encounters between campaigners and the public because that’s where your spread is going to happen,” he said.

“And it won’t matter how COVID-safe the actual election day is, if campaign pa lang people are already spreading the virus through careless and irresponsible acts,” he added.

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