(UPDATE) The Commission on Elections has allowed the office of Vice President Leni Robredo to continue its COVID response programs during the campaign period, a member of the poll body said Wednesday.
The Commission en banc granted the Office of the Vice President's request to exempt certain programs from the election ban, Commissioner George Erwin Garcia said.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, candidates are prohibited from giving, offering, or promising anything of value during the election period.
Section 13 of the Comelec's resolution on using public funds during the 2022 election period also requires agencies providing social welfare services to file a petition for the issuance of the Certificate of Exemption for these programs to continue.
The OVP suspended its COVID response programs before the official campaign period started last Feb. 8 pending the resolution of the petition.
Among the suspended programs were the OVP's Medical Assistance Program; Bayanihan E-Konsulta, its free teleconsult service for outpatient cases; Vaccine Express, its drive-thru vaccination program; and Swab Cab, its mobile COVID testing service.