The Commission on Elections (Comelec) acknowledged the Department of Health (DOH)’s disapproval over the use of a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) antigen test as a screening method during the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC). 

“The Comelec notes the DOH’s statement, but also notes that antigen tests are accepted by the House of Representatives as a requirement for entry into their premises,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said. 

Earlier, Comelec announced that an antigen testing booth would be stationed outside the COC filing venue for people who would not be able to show a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH disapproved of the idea as the antigen test should be used properly to ensure accurate results.

Meanwhile, the Comelec had not revised the deadline of the voter registration amid calls from legislators.

“The Commission has, thus far, not amended its position not to extend the deadline for voter registration. Congress unquestionably holds the power of the purse,” Jimenez said.

“For its part, Comelec – as the sole government entity tasked with the conduct of elections – can only do its utmost to ensure that it fulfills its mandate to hold secure, accurate, and free and fair elections,” he added. Ronald Espartinez