LEGAZPI CITY – Despite having 666 villages dubbed as hot spots in the region, the local PNP-Bicol has not recorded any election-related incidents in the first weeks of the election period that commenced on April 14.
Authorities are confident that peace and order will be maintained, especially if the public, particularly the gun owners will continue to cooperate in the implementation of the gun ban. Under election laws, an unauthorized person is barred from carrying firearms or deadly weapons outside their place of residence or on business from April 14 to May 21.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections said that filing of Statements of Election Contribution and Expenditures (SOCE) is mandatory for both winning and losing candidates. Failure to comply will disqualify them from holding any public office. A list of perpetually disqualified candidates due to repeated non-filing of SOCE is available at the COMELEC website. This year’s election sets June 13 as the deadline for filing of SOCE.
COMELEC Service Department is also ready to release the honoraria and travel allowances of poll workers. Under the Election Service Reform Act, poll workers are entitled to a compensation ranging from P2000 to P6000 and a travel allowance of P1000 which will be paid either in cash or by cash card. However, said honoraria and travel allowances are subjected to 5% withholding tax. (J.T. Bernal)