The Commission on Elections (Comelec) appealed for patience as its online precinct finder project stumbled out the door on its first day.
Online users derided the program, called Voter Verifier after they were greeted with an error screen when they tried to access the site.
“Let’s give the system a day to make an adjustment,” Commissioner George Erwin Garcia said.
The Voter Verifier went live Friday on the Comelec’s website, 21 days after it was launched as a project with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The site is supposed to enable registered voters can check their precinct locations by keying in their full name and the city or municipality where they registered.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) assured the public that it could still secure the 2022 polls despite a possible change of leadership a day before Election Day.
In a radio interview, PNP spokesperson Police Col. Jean Fajardo said PNP chief Police Gen. Dionardo Carlos is looking forward to his retirement on May 8 when he reaches the retirement age of 56.
The PNP said 2,738 people have been arrested so far for violating the election gun ban.
In a statement, the PNP said 2,661 of those apprehended were civilians, 44 security guards, 16 police officers, and 17 military personnel.
It added that a total of 2,612 police operations yielded 2,065 firearms, 11,128 pieces of ammunition, and 1,103 deadly weapons.
Citing its latest data, the PNP said the top five regions in terms of the number of arrested violators are the National Capital Region with 1,017, followed by Calabarzon (313); Central Visayas (283); Central Luzon (258); and Western Visayas (159).
According to Comelec Resolution No. 10728, the bearing, carrying, or transporting of firearms or deadly weapons is prohibited outside of the residence and in all public places from Jan. 9 until June 8.
Exempted from the ban are law enforcers but they should have authorization from the Comelec and wear an agency-prescribed uniform while on official duty during the election period.
Violators face imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation.
They also face disqualification from holding public office, deprivation of the right of suffrage, and cancellation or perpetual disqualification from securing a gun license.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday urged the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the PNP to ensure maximum protection for teachers serving as poll workers, especially in areas being considered as hotspots or areas of concern.
Gatchalian also called on the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Election Task Force to work with the PNP to ensure efficient provision of security measures for teachers who will serve in the polls.
Over 300,000 teachers are expected to participate in this year’s polls. The DILG and the PNP previously reported that 105 municipalities and 15 cities are labeled as “red areas” or areas of grave concern, which may be placed under the control of the Comelec.
The poll body is verifying the list submitted by the PNP and is yet to release the final list of areas of concern.