They may be isolated from the outside world, but 33,409 prisoners, euphemistically called Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), can cast their votes today.
The rule provides however, that they can vote from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. only.
BJMP director Allan Iral led a simulation exercise at Manila City Jail–Male Dormitory on Sunday while also directing all units to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during the rehearsal.
Let’s make sure our PDLs vote properly and we don’t have any (untoward) incidents in our facilities),” Iral said in an interview.
Commission on Elections’ Resolution No. 10768 states that a PDL may vote either at a special polling established inside a jail facility or escorted to a regular polling place.
BJMP spokesperson Xavier Solda said 30,726 will vote on-site.
There are 29,534 male voters and 3,875 female, or 39.2 percent of the 131,021 jail population in 475 district, city, and municipal jails nationwide.
The city jails with the highest number of inmate-voters this year are Cebu City, 1,102; Talisay City, 878; Lapu-Lapu City, 701; Antipolo City, 576; and Bacoor City, 534, all male dormitories.
Only PDL voters whose names appear in the certified list or posted computerized list may vote.
Each polling place shall accommodate 50 to 100 voters.
Medical personnel shall be assigned at the entrance of all polling place to check the temperature before they are allowed to vote.
If the temperature is above 37.4 Celsius or exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, the voter shall be taken to an isolation polling place.
PDL voters who have been issued court orders allowing them to vote in their polling places shall have security escorts and be allowed to use express or priority lanes.
BJMP escorts may bring firearms inside the polling place and must return immediately with the voters straight to the jail facilities without any stops.
This is the fifth time that prisoners are being given the privilege to exercise their right to suffrage.
A total of 65,745,529 Filipinos will cast their ballots in 37,141 voting centers on Monday.