MANILA - Results of a plebiscite that seeks to divide Palawan into 3 provinces could be announced within the week, a poll official said Tuesday.
Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez, in an interview with ANC, said the poll body had already canvassed votes cast in 18 of 23 municipalities.
"Well, we've already canvassed I think 18 out of 23 and we are scheduled to reconvene today at 2 p.m. So, I imagine that we are really close to proclamation now,” he said.
"Could be within the week, could be today," he added.
Votes rejecting the proposed split were leading, according to initial canvassing of plebiscite results as of Monday.
Jimenez estimated the voter turnout to be more than 60 percent.
"For the most part, people expected this to be a low turnout event. But again, the reality on the ground proved everyone otherwise," he said.
The poll body, meanwhile, recorded a handful of election-related incident reports that could not be considered "serious."
"For instance, there was a report of some barangay officials trying to prevent people from voting but that was resolved very quickly. But there were no significant incident reports, no violence, no disruption of the voting," Jimenez said.
The Comelec earlier declared the weekend plebiscite a success, which has been postponed for nearly a year because of the pandemic.
The plebiscite result will determine whether Palawan will be divided into Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental and Palawan del Sur.
Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez had conceded defeat in his push to see it divided into 3 new provinces.