Candidates for national positions will be required to have a negative antigen test result before being allowed to file their certificate of candidacy in October, the Commission on Elections said Wednesday.
The negative antigen test result is a requirement only for national candidates as they are expected to flock the filing venue along with supporters, Comelec commissioner Marlon Casquejo told lawmakers in a joint congressional oversight hearing.
These include candidates for president, vice president, senators, and party-list representatives, he added.
"Ang nangyayari dito in reality in the national positions, talagang parang piyesta ang nangyayari dito. Parang puno yata yung ating Intramuros," Casquejo said.
"In case the filer happens to go to the filing area without the result, there's a free antigen test to be conducted by the Comelec and paid by the Comelec to those who will file their certificate of candidacy," he added.
Local candidates are not required to present a negative antigen test result, Casquejo said, as they are not expecting many people to file candidacies for the mayor, vice mayor and councilor position.
"Having a bigger venue will suffice without requiring the candidates to have their antigen tests," he added.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez earlier said the commission would only allow one person to accompany candidates when they file their certificates of candidacy from Oct. 1 to 8 to avoid crowding.
The filing will also be done in a bigger venue and not at the Palacio del Gobernador building in Intramuros where it was traditionally conducted.
Comelec executive director Bartolome Sinocruz Jr. said the filing of certificates of candidacies for national candidates will be held in one of the tents in Sofitel Manila where their huge space and proper ventilation.