A total of 45 candidates are vying for different elective posts in Negros Oriental for the May 9, 2022 polls.
Records from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office showed that four are running for provincial governor; three for vice governor; six for Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) member of the 1st district; 18 for SP member of the 2nd district; and six for the 3rd district.
Three winners are to be elected for the 1st and 3rd districts, respectively, while four slots in the SP are for the 2nd district, where this provincial capital is located.
Meanwhile, for the House of Representatives, one is unopposed in the 1st district; two for the 2nd district; and five for the 3rd district.
The four gubernatorial candidates are incumbent Governor Roel Ragay Degamo (Nacionalista Party); Gregg Gaudia Degamo (Independent); incumbent Vice Governor Edward Mark Macias (Liberal Party); and incumbent Bayawan City Mayor Pryde Henry Teves (Nationalist People’s Coalition).
For vice governor, the candidates are Aldo Muñoz (Independent); incumbent SP member Erwin Michael Macias (Nationalist People’s Coalition); and incumbent Guihulngan City Mayor Carlo Jorge “Guido” Reyes (Nacionalista Party).
Those seeking a seat in the House of Representatives are incumbent Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (LP) of the 1st district, who is unopposed; George Arnaiz (Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats) and incumbent Rep. Manuel “Chiquiting” Sagarbarria of the 2nd district; Nanchie Dela Cruz Degamo (Independent); Jocelyn Estrella (Independent); Joan Estrella (PROMDI); and incumbent Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. of the 3rd district.
In an interview, Negros Oriental provincial election supervisor lawyer Eddie Aba said so far, his office has not yet received any petition for disqualification of a candidate or a petition to declare a candidate as “nuisance”.
Aba also clarified that even after the certified list of candidates has been submitted to the Comelec central office, this will not affect the substitution of a candidate until November 15, the deadline set by the poll body.
Meanwhile, the Comelec office in this city is hoping to further surpass the number of registered voters in the 2019 polls, with a target of more than 90,000 individuals for the May 9, 2022 elections.
Lawyer Ian Macaraya, city election officer, in an interview said as of July this year, records at his office showed a total of 85,635 voters, including those reactivated, were registered in this capital city.
“This is about 3,000 more than that total of 82,518 registered voters in the 2019 elections and if we reach about 90,000, this could be the biggest number of registrants in the city over the past many years,” he said in mixed English and Cebuano dialect.
Macaraya said there are 7,292 voter-applicants as of Sept. 30, whose approval is still pending with the Comelec Election Registration Board, not to mention those that are signing up during the extended registration.
The extension of voters’ registration from October 11-30 is expected to further raise the number, he said.
The Comelec official attributed the increase in the number of registrants mostly to new voters, particularly the youth. (PNA)