To further lessen the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) disease, the Department of Health (DOH) has proposed that the casting of ballots in the 2022 polls should be done the “quickest time possible.”

“‘Pag tingnan po natin, based on the characteristics ng virus, ang sinasabi magkakaroon ka ng close contact na definition kapag ikaw ay na-exposed sa isang tao ng 15 minutes or less. Noong dumating ang Delta variant, nawala na ang 15 minutes dahil napaka-transmissible ang Delta variant,” health undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“Kaya ang atin pong rekomendasyon pagka ganito, soonest time possible. Pinakamabilis na proseso dapat, hindi dapat nagko-congregate, dapat mabilis ang proseso, maayos so hindi magka-crowd ang mga tao kapag nangyari,” she said. 

Back in September, the health department stated that it is also looking at the possibility of allowing Covid-positive patients to send their votes via text messaging to prevent them from leaving their isolation facilities to cast their ballot as they might infect other voters. 

“Maybe it can be virtual, or digital, through SMS. The DOH really does not recommend that positive patients leave isolation, since they can transmit the virus and infect other people,” she said.

However, Comelec spokesperson already thumbed down the DOH’s proposal stressing the proposal is not “authorized by law and will not be employed on May 9, 2022.” – Ronald Espartinez