President Rodrigo Duterte declared May 13 as a special non-working holiday three days before the midterm elections.
He signed Proclamation 719 declaring May 13 a holiday to “enable people to properly exercise their right to vote.”
“I, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare Monday 13 May, 2019, a special [non-working] holiday throughout the country for the National and Local elections,” the proclamation says.Meanwhile, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines said it would activate the 24/7 operations of its Overall Command Center from May 10 to 16 as part of its preparations to secure power transmission operations and facilities during this year’s senatorial and local elections.
NGCP said the contingency plans were in place to monitor and quickly address any grid disturbance. Since May 13 had been declared a special non-working day, NGCP’s critical units, such as System Operations and Operations and Maintenance, remained fully staffed and operational.
The Commission on Elections has previously said it is ready to serve at least 60 million voters who will exercise their right to vote on May 13. There are now more than 61 million registered voters throughout the country.
With the looming elections, Malacañang assured the public that all government agencies had prepared for the polls.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the “security forces are already deployed especially in election hotspots to prevent the occurrence of any violence.
“The Department of the Interior and Local Government, along with the Department of National Defense, assured that the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are ready to secure the 2019 elections,” Panelo said in a statement on Tuesday.
He said government departments were working hard to help Duterte deliver his promise of clean and peaceful midterm elections.
He said the Department of Education had already informed the teachers who would serve in the polls that they will receive honorariums and travel allowances.
The Energy department also guaranteed that there would be sufficient power supply for the elections in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao following the concerns over possible power outages.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs expected a higher voter turnout for Overseas Absentee Voting.
For this year’s elections, a total of 18,066 elective posts are at stake. A total of 62 candidates are vying for 12 posts in the Senate, while 614 aspirants are eyeing a seat in the 245-member House of Representatives. With Alena Mae S. Flores