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Siquijor all set for barangay, SK elections

SIQUIJOR, Siquijor, October 11 (PIA ) -- The Province of Siquijor is all set for the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataang Elections (BSKE).

In a Joint Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and Provincial Anti Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) Meeting held October 1, 2023, Siquijor Police Provincial Director PCol. Robert T. Lingbawan said his office is working with other government agencies to hold a series of activities for the upcoming election, including the conduct of Unity Walk, Interfaith Prayer/Rally, Candidates Forum and Signing of Integrity Pledge, among other education and information campaign. 

The province's total 134 barangays are identified to be under the "green category," which means that the entire province is generally peaceful. 

Lingbawan said a detailed security plan and deployment of personnel have been formed, while a series of simulation exercises have also been held to ensure a cohesive and holistic approach in response to any eventuality. 

In his report, Deputy Provincial Director for Operation (DPDO) PCol. Timothy Aniway Jr. said the deployment of 448 security forces is set on October 25, while provincial and municipal task forces are activated to ensure the conduct of secure, accurate, fair, and honest elections.

The deployment includes personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Army, and other government forces, and the reservists.

Siquijor province has a total of 107,018 registered voters. 

It has a total of 4,168 barangay and SK candidates, of which San Juan has 457; Lazi, 620; Maria, 668; Enrique Villanueva, 427; Larena, 724; and Siquijor town, 1,272. 

Signing of Integrity Pledge for the Barangay and Sk elections at Larena, Siquijor. (RAC/PIA7-Siquijor)

With 132 polling centers, all roads leading to them are passable either by two or four-wheeled vehicles.

All polling centers have power source, but 34 of them have no internet connections while 35 have no cellphone signal, the SPPO report said.

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Central Visayas Regional Director Lionel Marco Castillano, in the same meeting, said he was impressed by the local preparations presented during the Provincial Joint Security Command Conference (PJSCC). 

He said he has visited the four provinces of Central Visayas and so far, Siquijor is well prepared with only a few lacking resources, which the Provincial Government of Siquijor was quick to commit their support.

Castillano said provinces also need to prepare for contingencies in case of typhoons or bad weather. 

He sought the reactivation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council to take care of the needed contingencies.

Philippine National Police personnel and representatives of national government agencies participating in the Unity walk conducted in all six municipalities in the province of Siquijor. (RAC/PIA7-Siquijor)

"Maayo na ang preparasyon (the preparation is good) when it comes to security and deployment," he said, as he emphasized the need for agencies to practice the whole-of-government approach. 

With power interruptions as one of the biggest challenges in the province, the Siquijor Island Power Corporation (SIPCOR) and the Province of Siquijor Electric Cooperative (PROSIELCO) assured the council of uninterrupted power service on October 29 to 31.

They also pledged to provide a Quick Response Team to be positioned in each municipality. 

Dr. Rosalie Pasaol, the newly-installed Schools Division Superintendent of Siquijor Province, likewise committed DepEd's strong support with its 1,032 teaching and non-teaching personnel who have undergoing the training and orientation. 

He asked for their safety and security during the elections as she committed to personally go to the municipalities to give instructions and guidance.

She said the Division BSKE DepED Task Force has also been created and can be easily reached in case there will be issues and concerns. 

Meanwhile, Lingbawan assured that their office and other law enforcement agencies are neutral in the implementation of the election rules and policies as directed by the COMELEC. 

"I assure you that we will treat you fairly regardless of who you are. We are ready to secure the electorate at lahat ng mga kandidato (and all the candidates) come October 30," he said as he urged the public to report any suspicious acts violating the rules and regulations set by the COMELEC.

He said that since the policemen and other law enforcement agencies are not present all the time in all barangays, residents can help them in maintaining the peace and order in the province during the election period. (RAC/PIA7-Siquijor)

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Rizalie Calibo


Region 7

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