The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will allow COVID 19 positive individuals to vote in the May 2022 national and local elections.
Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas said this during the deliberations on the proposed P26.728-billion budget for the poll body.
Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Dalipe pressed Abas and inquired from the Comelec if a registered voter afflicted with COVID-19 might still go to his or her polling precinct and exercise his or her right to vote.
Abas answered: "Yes, they can still vote."
But the Comelec chairman said "we will just make adjustments. We will have an isolation center in each polling center so we will isolate those who are COVID-positive. They will cast their votes in that isolation center."
But as for the case of poll servers, Abas said they would not be allowed to serve in the elections if they were COVID-19 positive.
He said Comelec had been coordinating with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to finalize the guidelines for next year's polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Abas told legislators that the Department of Budget's approved budget for Comelec amounting to P26 billion does not include the hazard pay for the poll servers including teachers.
The Comelec proposes a P41.9-billion budget for 2022 but the DBM approved only P26 billion.
Abas said funds for the hazard pay of the Board of Election Inspectors were not approved by the DBM.
“As to the hazard pay, we asked DBM. Unfortunately, it was not approved. Right now, our budget does not cover hazard pay," Abas told congressmen.
Lawmakers at the House of Representatives called for the restoration of the P15.5-billion cut made in Comele's proposed budget.