SM Supermalls, the Philippines’ largest operator of shopping centers, agreed to allow all its malls to be used as voting precincts in the forthcoming elections next year.
In press release dated July 15, 2015, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Andres Bautista said he met with SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia and discuss the possibility of using SM malls nationwide as voting centers for the upcoming elections scheduled on May 9, 2016.
COMELEC Chairman Baustista said he was delighted to learn that, like the poll agency, SM Supermalls share the Filipino people’s aspirations for credible and peaceful elections.
SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia said SM supports the poll body’s determination to have credible, orderly and peaceful elections.
“In line with this and as part of our commitment to give all the convenience to the public, especially to the mall-goers, we would like to tell COMELEC that our 52 malls will be made available as voting centers in the 2016 national elections,” Garcia said.
Garcia added that SM malls, being air-conditioned facilities, are ideal places for people to cast their votes, especially for people with disabilities and senior citizens. She further said that four SM malls have been used as voting centers during the 2013 Barangay elections.
“We have done this before, being the first mall to have been made into a voting center in the last elections and this is another opportunity for us to give our customers all the convenience especially at a most crucial period in our country,” the SM Supermalls president said.
Aside from SM Supermalls, Robinsons Malls made an earlier commitment to make 42 of their malls as voting precincts for the 2016 elections, bringing to 94 the number of malls available to host polling precincts, said Paterno Esmaquel II in his report in Rappler.
Currently, SM Supermalls is hosting the COMELEC’s biometrics registration under the poll body’s “No Bio, No Boto” Program.