The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) will allow voters to vote in malls for the next election year, 2016 via voting polls that will be set-up in specific malls.
Chairman Andres Bautista said that this could decrease election-related issues and add convenience to voters and voter turnout, since malls are air conditioned.
“Napansin ko, yung mga Filipino, if you put them in a place na mayos, they tend to behave accordingly. Pero kapag nilagay mo sila sa mga place na magugulo, manggugulo rin sila,” the Chairman said.
Bautista also stated that, mall facilities will ameliorate the experience of voters such as, air conditioning, food and restaurant stalls and stable electricity.It is expected that the numbers of voters per precinct in public schools will also reduce. And when it comes to security of the malls as polling sites, Chairman Bautista said:
“Ang daming ills of election na puwede mong ma-mitigate: vote buying, violence, issues of impatience… Ang AFP at PNP, we can deploy them in the malls… I don’t think security will be an issue.”
Comelec then will tie up the exact numbers of precincts that will be transferred to malls by November 7.
On weekends, mall goers can have their biometrics data taken around the shopping center, since people find it inconvenient to go to election office of Comelec, Bautista cleared that:
“Matagal na itong ‘No Bio, No Boto’. It started last 2014. Peo tayong mga Pilipino, minyan parating last minute. Marami sa channel sinasabi, very inconvenient to go to the election office ng Comelec.”
President Fredrick Go of Robinsons Land Corporation stated that the company will not receive payment for hosting the voting polls and biometrics stations, it will be their public service for the country.
“We’re doing this as a public service to the country and the voting population at large. We are honoured to host Comelec and the Filipino people,” President Go said.