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IATF-EID approves health protocols for Palawan plebiscite

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The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the health and safety protocols to be used for next year’s plebiscite on whether to divide Palawan into three separate provinces.

In the IATF-EID Resolution No. 78 issued on Friday, the task force approved “the health and safety protocols for the conduct of a plebiscite in the first quarter of 2021 to ratify the Division of the Province of Palawan, pursuant to Republic Act No. 11259 and relevant provisions of the Constitution.”

The health protocols include allowing voting to take place over two days and limiting the number of voters in a room to five.

Registered voters who are between the ages of 18 and 21, those who are 60 years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women — people whose mobility is currently restricted by health protocols related to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic — will be allowed to leave their homes for the purpose of voting in the plebiscite.

The Palawan plebiscite was supposed to take place on May 11 this year but was suspended due to the pandemic.

Republic Act No. 11259 was signed into law last year and calls for the division of Palawan into three provinces: Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur. — Gilliam M. Cortez

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