Comelec to set up makeshift polling centers in areas devastated by Agaton

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2022 05:04 PM

An aerial view shows destroyed houses along a coastline in the village of Pilar, Abuyog town, Leyte province on April 14, 2022 days after tropical storm Agaton hit the Philippines. Bobbie Alota, AFP
An aerial view shows destroyed houses along a coastline in the village of Pilar, Abuyog town, Leyte province on April 14, 2022 days after tropical storm Agaton hit the Philippines. Bobbie Alota, AFP


MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started to procure materials to build makeshift polling centers in areas devastated by tropical storm Agaton, an official said Thursday.

"Marami rin reports tayo na-receive from Region 8, reporting that several voting centers have been damaged by the typhoon. As a remedy, nagpa-ano na tayo ng mga makeshift polling centers," Comelec executive director Bartolome Sinocruz said in a press briefing.

"Since makeshift yan, mga wooden materials, parang kahoy kasi temporary," he added.

Sinocruz said the makeshift polling centers will approximate the size of the precincts.

"Sa size kasi, magde-depend 'yan sa pangangailangan natin, like a small room. Kailangan natin i-approximate niyan yung size ng polling rooms para ma-accommodate yung number of voters allowed," he explained.

The Comelec already posted on its website requests for quotation for makeshift temporary polling places for some areas in Southern Leyte, Northern Samar, Leyte, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces.

The national and local elections will be held on May 9.

Agaton first hit land in Guiuan, Eastern Samar last April 10, and lingered for a few days in the Visayas area, dumping heavy rains that triggered landslides in some areas.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in its latest report Thursday morning that Agaton has left 18 people dead, six injured and seven missing. The agency is also validating reports that 160 others have died, two more were injured, and 104 others are missing.

More than 11,200 houses were either partially or totally damaged.

More than 2 million were affected by the storm, of whom, nearly 110,00 are staying in evacuation centers.

Agaton came four months after Typhoon Odette devastated swathes of the country, killing more than 400 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

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