By Roi Lomotan
DUMAGUETE CITY, (PIA) – The Diocesan Electoral Board (DEB) of the Diocese of Dumaguete lauds the active participation of voters in this year’s election.
DEB lead convenor Msgr. Julius Heruela said there is a high voters’ turnout this year. Although he didn’t mentioned any figures, Heruela explained that the long lines and jampacked holding rooms in polling centers are indications of high voters’ participation.
He also noted that most voters showed eagerness in casting their vote by going to their assigned polling center early in the morning.
Most of the polling centers in Dumaguete City were filled with voters from early morning to noon. The group noted that the number of voters became less in the afternoon.
The DEB has deployed 5,100 volunteers to monitor election proceedings in polling centers that are under the coverage of the diocese.
The Diocese of Dumaguete covers 1,076 polling precincts from Basay town up to Jimalalud and the 132 polling precincts in the whole province of Siquijor.
The DEB also organized a command center at the Marian Priests Center, Dumaguete City which receives incident reports from Deb volunteers on field.
Msgr. Heruela disclosed most of the incident reports they received are on complaints on long lines, lost names from voter’s list especially those who got delisted because they were unable to comply with the biometrics registration of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
Aside from this, there are some incidents of paper jamming of the Vote Counting Machines (VCM) but these were resolved by the technicians.
However, the DEB official also shared that voters’ receipt boxes in some polling precincts were reportedly open and placed on the floor behind the VCM machined instead of being sealed and having a hole where voters can drop their receipts before leaving the polling place.
Voters’ receipt boxes should also be placed beside the VCM where it is visible to the voter. Heruela said they already informed the COMELEC on this issue. Heruela did not discount the possibility of having “dagdag-bawas” of votes with this incident.
He once again underscored the importance of vote secrecy. “The voter should witness receipt inserted (in the box) and BEIs (Board of Election Inspectors) and the staff should not look into it. There should be secrecy in the receipt,” he said.
Now that the elections are over, the DEB will continue to monitor situations in polling centers for the counting and transmitting of election results.
The DEB has designated six roving teams that will collect copies of election results in cluster areas in Bonawon, Basay, Jimalalud, Sta. Agueda, Valencia, and Mabinay for the DEB and the local chapter of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas. (mbcn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was originally posted at PIA website on May 9, 2016)