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President Rodrigo Duterte has finally declared Monday, May 13, as a special non-working holiday to allow Filipinos to vote in the 2019 midterm elections.

The holiday declaration was contained in Proclamation No.719 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Thursday, May 9.

“There is a need to declared Monday, 13 May 2019, a special (non-working) holiday to enable the people to properly exercise their right to vote,” the proclamation read.

According to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, preparations of concerned government agencies for the May 13 elections have been discussed by President Duterte and the Cabinet in Malacañang on Monday, May 6.

“The Department of National Defense assured that the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are ready to secure the 2019 elections,” Panelo said. “Security forces are already deployed especially in election hot spots to prevent occurrence of any violence.”

Aside from security measures, the spokesperson also shared that the Department of Energy (DOE) has assured that there would have a “sufficient” supply of power in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

About 61 million Filipinos are expected to vote for the upcoming local and national elections. As for the overseas absentee voters (OAV), Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Spokesman James Jimenez said that they are estimating another 1.9 million registered OAV. In the May 2016 polls, there were 58 million voters while there were 1.3 million overseas voters for OAV.

Polling precincts will be open from 6am to 6pm on Monday. The voting hours are longer compared to the 6am to 5pm in 2016.

Are you ready for the 2019 midterm elections? Go out and exercise your right to vote.

Watch Manila Bulletin’s #MatalinongBoto2019 campaign videos here:

Photo from Manila Bulletin

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