The Philippine government is considering Israel’s expertise to ensure that the national elections in May 2022 are carried out safely amid the pandemic, the Israel Embassy in Manila said Wednesday.
“We had our experience in having two elections during the pandemic one in the middle of the pandemic and one in the beginning. We are willing to share the information and I think the Philippine government and authorities are interested, we’re discussing it,” Embassy Charge d’Affaires Nir Balzam told reporters in a virtual forum.
Balzam did not elaborate on the possible partnership only that they are “collaborating” with Manila by sharing pointers about measures that were implemented when Israel held its own elections.
“I think there are few measures that the Philippines have to understand first before… what’s the vaccination status, the eligible voters. There are still some things that they have to do before but we’re collaborating on that,” he said.
In Israel, authorities managed to successfully hold the March 2020 and March 2021 polls by establishing a system that allows even those in isolation to vote while maintaining Covid-19 measures.
They set up polls inside the coronavirus wards of hospitals and a way for people to elect even when they were undergoing home quarantine.
In both elections, Israel “did not see any increase in new cases,” achieving the objective to allow its citizens to participate in the democratic process despite the health crisis.
The Philippines will hold the national and local elections on May 9, 2022.
The Commission on Elections is crafting the guidelines with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on how the voting process would be held.The guidelines are expected to be released by October 1 this year.