BAGUIO CITY – The Commission on Election (Comelec) recently issued the latest classifications of the different local governments based on its established parameters for the upcoming May 9, 2022 synchronized national and local elections to serve as a guide for concerned sectors to ensure their readiness for whatever untoward incidents that will transpire.
Under the established election guidelines, areas that are placed under the green category are considered to be peaceful and orderly; the yellow category are areas with intense political rivalry among politicians aspiring for the various elected positions; areas under the orange category are areas of immediate concern where there is serious armed threat, while areas under the red category have the presence of intense political rivalry, history of election-related violence and incidents and presence of private armed groups (PAGs).
Of the 7 provinces in the region, Kalinga had the highest number of areas under the red category namely, Tabuk City, Rizal, Pinukpuk, Pasil, Lubuagan, Balbalan and Tinglayan while Tanudan was placed under the yellow category.
The towns of Besao and Sagada in Mountain Province had been placed under the orange category while the remaining municipalities of Bauko, Tadian, Sabangan, Bontoc, Sadanga, Barlig, Natonin and Paracelis have been placed under the green category.
Abra recorded the highest number of towns that had been placed under the yellow category such as Bangued, Dolores, Penarrubia, Pidigan, Tayum, Pilar, San Juan, Lagayan, and Tineg while the remaining 18 municipalities have been categorized to be green areas.
Only the town of Conner in Apayao had been listed in the yellow category while the 6 other municipalities such as Calanasan, Kabugao, Luna, Pudtol, Flora and Sta. Marcela have been placed under the green category.
Baguio city and all the 13 towns of Benguet and the 11 municipalities of Ifugao have all been placed under the green category which is an indication of the peaceful and orderly conduct of the upcoming political exercise.
The poll body furnished the different provincial, city and municipal election offices on the latest categorization of the different places in the region with respect to the upcoming May polls for the conduct of further assessment, evaluation and validation on whether or not the issued categorization will remain up to the elections.
Previously, Abra and some parts of Kalinga had been classified to be areas of immediate concern during the conduct of past political exercises where there were various election-related violence and incidents, intense political rivalry among politicians and the presence of PAGs.
Further, the Cordillera has been one of the areas where the conduct of the elections had been generally peaceful except for some election-related violence and incidents that had transpired in a few areas.
The categorization of the different areas in the region will be subject to review and evaluation after 15 days to institute the appropriate changes if there will be any to the classifications of the places during the elections.