MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has banned the raising of the hands of winners during the proclamation in next year's polls as part of health protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“During the proclamation of the winning candidates, the BOC (Board of Canvassers) shall not physically raise their hands and shall strictly observe the minimum health standards/ protocols,” the poll body said in Resolution No. 10731 released on Tuesday.
In the pre-pandemic years, it has been a tradition for poll body officials to raise the hands of the winning candidate during the proclamation.

On the other hand, the Commission is requiring all those who will be inside canvassing venues to undergo temperature checks as part of other health and safety rules to be implemented in the area.

“SEC. 40. Canvassing Venue. The Board of Canvassers shall: Strictly implement Election Day protocols and shall allow
entry only to those who pass the following:

a. Temperature checking - those who register a body temperature of less than 37.5 degrees Celsius on the first or second scanning;

b. Fully-vaccinated individuals; in lieu of vaccination, a negative Antigen/RT-PCR test result; and c. No symptoms of COVID-19, as indicated in the Health Declaration Form,” said the order.

“Those who fail in any of the aforementioned requirement shall not be allowed to enter the canvassing venue and shall be referred to the Medical Personnel for proper medical advice,” it stated.

The Comelec added that the following measures shall be observed at all times in all activities covered by the Resolution including, but not limited to:

1. Wearing of face mask and face shield;

2. Body temperature scanning;

3. One-meter physical distancing;

4. Frequent disinfection of hands;

5. Frequent disinfection of regularly-touched surfaces;

6. Proper cough and sneezing etiquette;

7. Limited number of workers;

8. Disinfection of documents, supplies, device/ equipment;

9. Use of own pen;

10. Requirement of negative antigen result/RT-PCR; and

11. Submission of Health Declaration Form. (PNA)