Pangasinan town’s smooth polls due to preparation, coordination

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School heads in various polling centers here consider the local and national elections as peaceful and smooth, attributing this to adequate preparation on their part and to people’s cooperation.

Enrico T. Prado National High School principal Cristobal Cristobal said final testing and sealing (FTS) of the vote counting machine was done last Friday.

“We conducted FTS last Friday and it was a success,” he said in an interview by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Cristobal said there are about 700 voters assigned to the single precinct in the school, and some are in the school as early as 6 a.m.

He said voters cast their ballots until 7 p.m. and BEIs were mandated to wait for voters as long as they were within the premises by that time.

“Talagang hinihintay sila… May humahabol pa rin pero konti na lang (We really waited for them… There were some who voted last minute but they’re only few),” he added.

Buer-Bayaoas Elementary School principal Edna Ramirez said some teachers who were part of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) and the school utility personnel were in the school as early as 4 a.m.

“We cater for three precincts here and we made sure that these are not close to each other to ensure social distancing among the voters,” she said.

Pogonsili Elementary School principal Socorro Viray said they had a 10-member team, nine BEIs and a vote counting machine technician, who served around 1,600 voters who were assigned to 10 precincts.

“We have a systematic process here because people lined up properly and followed the rules,” she said.

Viray said people needing assistance to vote, such as the persons with disabilities (PWDs), were either helped by their family members or the BEIs.

“We have a special lane for PWDs but we made sure that regular voters were also served properly,” she added.

Mangatarem 1 Central School principal Racelyn Limos said the elections were generally peaceful in the 14 precincts, which catered to around 50,000 voters.

She said the sole problem they encountered involved a bundle of ballots for one precinct that has no serial number.

“We’ve informed the Comelec (Commission on Elections) about it and we were told that they will just include this in their minutes,” she said.

Limos said a plus for the smooth elections was the presence of volunteers from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting around the polling precincts.

“Because of the name of the group itself people tend to easily follow the election rules,” she added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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