The Bacolod Commission on Elections was closed Monday, September 13, after one of its staff tested positive for COVID-19 but will resume its registration of voters on Tuesday, September 14, Elections Officer Kathrina Trinio Caña said.
Provincial Elections Supervisor Ma. Fatima Aspan has been designated acting election officer of Bacolod City in concurrent capacity, Caña said.
Aspan said she and her staff will man the Bacolod Comelec office since its personnel are in quarantine pending COVID-19 testing.
Registration will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bacolod Comelec Office Tuesday to Thursday, and at the Ayala Malls Capitol Central on Friday, Aspan said.
On Saturday, registration will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. also at the Ayala Malls Capitol Central, she added.
“Since all of us will be new at the Bacolod Comelec we will start accommodating those who applied for registration online and those tagged as priority registrants at 3 p.m.,” Aspan said, with the regular registrants to be attended to earlier in the day.
Priority registrants include persons with disabilities, frontline workers and senior citizens, she said.
Caña said one Bacolod Comelec employee tested positive for COVID-19 and the rest of the staff have been quarantined and will be swabbed for RT-PCR tests on Friday.
Only one to the 14 Comelec Bacolod employees was not exposed to the COVID-positive person, she said.
The Bacolod Comelec had previously also closed for two weeks after three of its staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia urged young Bacolod voters, especially the first-timers, to make sure that they have already registered before the Comelec before the end of September.
The poll body has set a September 30 deadline for voters who want to cast their votes in the 2022 national and local elections.
“I am encouraging young voters, especially the first-timers, to register now,” he said.
“Eventually, you will have a say in determining the future of Bacolod City and our country as well. That is why you have to register now,” Leonardia said.*