THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) has asked President Rodrigo R. Duterte to declare May 9 as a special non-working holiday to ensure full participation in this year’s national and local elections, according to its chairman.  

“We signed Resolution No. 10784 requesting President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to declare May 9, 2022, as a special non-working holiday all throughout the country in connection with the national and local elections signed by the Commission en banc,” Comelec Chairman Saidamen B. Pangarungan told a press briefing on Thursday live-streamed on the Comelec Facebook page.  

“There is a need to declare May 9, 2022, as a special non-working holiday to afford the registered voters the fullest opportunity to participate in the said election and exercise their right to vote,” reads part of the resolution dated April 27.  

There are about 65.7 million locally registered voters and 1.69 million overseas voters for this year’s elections.  

Local absentee voting for those who will be rendering service on election day started Wednesday and will end on April 29. 

About 84,000 government workers, soldiers, and members of the media will be allowed to cast their ballots during this early voting period.   

Election Commissioner Aimee P. Ferolino, who heads the Comelec’s packing and shipping committee, told the same briefing that 48% of official ballots and 96.4% of vote-counting machines have been delivered to the agency’s regional hubs.  

The election body finished printing all 67.4 million ballots for local distribution on April 2 while local absentee ballots started deployment on April 13.   

Comelec will destroy defective ballots in front of members of the media, and representatives of political parties, among other groups on May 7, Comelec Commissioner Marlon S. Casquejo said during the briefing. 

Meanwhile, the pending cases seeking to disqualify former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. on appeal with the en banc will likely be resolved early next week, Mr. Pangarungan said.  

The election body has yet to resolve appeals seeking to overturn decisions allowing Mr. Marcos to run for president. John Victor D. Ordoñez