Comelec: Poll materials safe from ‘Palacio’ building fire

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has assured that no materials for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) were affected following a minor fire incident at the Palacio del Gobernador (PDG) in Manila Monday afternoon. In a statement, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said the fire razed the office of the Bureau of the Treasury on the sixth floor of PDG. “No aspect of the BSKE preparations, as well as Comelec general administration activities and regular operations, were affected by the fire,” Laudiangco said. Laudiangco also told reporters there was “no extensive” damage reported after the Bureau of Fire Protection’s (BFP) initial inspection. The poll body, however, implemented a work suspension for its offices in the building. “To facilitate the BFP’s investigation and safety assessment at the Bureau of the Treasury’s offices on the 6th floor, all work at the Comelec departments and offices at the PDG was suspended by chairman George Erwin Garcia,” he said. These include the operations of the Office for Overseas Voting as it is located at the PDG’s seventh floor. The Comelec said its issuance of certificates of overseas voters’ certificate will resume on Tuesday. To date, the Comelec uses parts of the ground and fifth floors, as well as the seventh and eighth floors for its various operations. The fire broke out at the Cooperative Office of the Bureau of the Treasury around 12:32 p.m. It was extinguished immediately. Following the fire out by 12:38 p.m., the BFP, alongside safety teams of PDG and Comelec and the Manila City Engineering Division, initiated the inspection and investigation in the area. On the same day last year, a fire incident happened on the seventh floor of the PDG building which reached a second alarm.

Source: Philippines News Agency