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Comelec offers Albay voters a taste of BSKE mall voting

LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY (PIA) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) here has conducted a demonstration on how the actual voting process at the malls will happen in the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE)  this October 2023.

The Comelec-Legazpi City Election Office put up a mock setup of a voting center at the SM City Legazpi in Legazpi City where 50 voters cast their votes last Saturday, August 19.

The pilot simulation for the planned mall voting in the Bicol region during the October 30, 2023, Barangay and SK elections turned out well, according to lawyer Ma. Aurea Bo-Bunao, Comelec election supervisor for Albay. 

“The process was very good,” said Bo-Bunao. 

he Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) mall voting simulation at the SM City Legazpi on Saturday, August 19, was successfully copleted said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Albay.

Lawyer Connie Del Castillo, Comelec election officer for Legazpi City, said 50 voters out of 720 registered voters from all walks of life in Barangay Capantawan were identified to join the simulation.

This barangay, chosen due to its proximity, will have the actual BSKE at the SM City Legazpi. The voting precincts of Capantawan would be transferred to the mall. 

“The turnout was fast and with no much delay. On the day of the election, we will set up waiting and holding areas so that in case there are long lines of voters, they will be comfortable since they are in an air-conditioned area,” Del Castillo told the Philippine Information Agency-Albay.

With the mall security team and police force standing by, the voting simulation was peaceful and orderly, said Lt. Col. June Aian Rojas, Legazpi City Police Station officer in charge.

Just the same, Comelec’s partners and stakeholders will convene for an assessment to identify areas and concerns that must be improved.

“We are grateful that we’ve been receiving positive feedback for today’s simulation in preparation for the October 30 BSK election. Rest assured that we’re taking note of the feedback. We are offering our facilities and venue for convenience to our voters, as well as the safety and security of everyone,” SM City Legazpi Mall Manager Cindy Lilia said.

The Comelec Board of Canvassers also conducted a simulation of the canvassing of votes as part of the pilot test of mall voting simulation in the province of Albay.

As envisioned by the Comelec, the voting experience of voters was enhanced. 

Fernan Perdigon, one of the 50 mock voters, said he had a better voting experience compared with the elections done in schools.

“Compared before na nasa eskwelahan, mainiton buda susuon and bako that secured, digdi feel mo talagang secured ta dakulon ang security na nagbabantay and nagtatabang. Convenient samung mga botante kaya mas magayon and komportable kami kesa dati. (Compared with schools that are very hot, crowded and not that secured, here we really felt secured since there are many security personnel guarding and helping us. It’s convenient for us voters that’s why it’s better and more comfortable),” he said.

The 83-year old Josefa Asiado affirmed the convenience in mall voting.

“Magayon ang naging voting experience ko. Relax na maray. Ang pinagkaiba niya sa pagboto, mas convenient digdi asin mas maogma. (I had a good voting experience. I was very relaxed. Compared with the usual voting, this is more convenient and merry),” Asiado said.

For her part, Capantawan SK Chair Erica Bermejo also called on her fellow youth to cast their votes “for a better tomorrow.”

“Mas magayon na gigibohon na digdi sa SM and malapit lang sa amin. We are very happy na mapili ang Capantawan. It is very important na maging parte ng election especially ang ating youth na maging bahagi dahil marami silang magagawa especially para sa future generation. (It’s better that the election will be done here. It’s very close to our barangay. We are very happy that Capantawan was chosen. It is very important to be part of the election especially our youth since they can do more especially for the future generation),” Bermejo said. (PIA5/Albay)

About the Author

Sally Altea


Region 5

"He provides. Everything is in His hands."

Information Center Manager of the Philippine Information Agency - Albay


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