Comelec conducts mall voting simulation in Albay
By Sally Altea
LEGAZPI CITY --- The test for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) mall voting simulation at the SM City Legazpi on Saturday, August 19, was successfully conducted, according to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Albay Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Ma. Aurea Bo-Bunao.
“The process was very good,” said Bunao, citing the Bicol region as one of three areas in the country for the pilot implementation of the BSKE mall voting.
The other areas are Metro Manila and Cebu.
Comelec Legazpi City Election Supervisor Atty. Connie Del Castillo said 50 voters out of 720 registered voters from various sectors in Barangay Capantawan were identified to join the simulation. This barangay, chosen due to their proximity, will have the actual BSKE at the SM City Legazpi.
“The turnout was fast and with no much delay. On the day of Election, we will set up waiting and holding areas so that in case there are long lines of voters, they will be comfortable since they are in an air-conditioned area,” Del Castillo said.
With the mall security team and deployed police force, the voting simulation was peaceful and orderly, said Legazpi City Police Station OIC Lt. Col June Aian Rojas.
Partners and stakeholders will convene for an assessment to identify areas and concerns that must be improved.
“We are grateful that we’ve been receiving positive feedback for today’s simulation in preparation for the October 30 BSK election. Rest assured that we taking note of the feedbacks. We are offering our facilities and venue for convenience to our voters, as well as the safety and security of everyone,” SM City Legazpi Mall Manager Cindy Lilia stated.
MALL voting simulation at SM City Legazpi
Fernan Perdigon, one of the 50 voters who joined the simulation, said he has a better voting experience compared with the elections done in schools.
“Compared before na nasa eskwelahan, mainiton buda susuon and bako that secured, digdi feel mo talagang secured ta dakulon ang security na nagbabantay and nagtatabang. Convinent samung mga botante kaya mas magayon and komportable kami kesa dati. (Compared with schools that are very hot, crowded and not that secured, here we really felt secured since there are many security personnel guarding and helping us. It’s convenient for us voters that’s why its better and more comfortable),” he said.
The 83-year old Josefa Asiado affirmed the convenience in mall voting.
“Magayon ang naging voting experience ko. Relax na maray. Ang pinagkaiba niya sa pagboto, mas convenient digdi asin mas maogma,” Asiado said.
Aside from the convenience, Capantawan SK Chair Erica Bermejo also called on her fellow youth to cast their votes for a better tomorrow.
“Mas magayon na gigibohon na digdi sa SM and malapit lang sa amin. We are very happy na mapili ang Capantawan. It is very important na maging parte ng election especially ang ating youth na maging bahagi dahil marami silang magagawa especially para sa future generation,” Bermejo said. (PIA5/Albay)