Miss Universe-inspired? PNP’s social distancing patrollers for COC filing don sashes

September 30, 2021 - 4:03 PM
This Sept. 30, 2021 photo shows security preps ongoing at the CCP Complex in Pasay City ahead of the filing of Certificates of Candidacy on October 1. (TV5/JC Cosico)

In time for the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 coronation?

The Philippine National Police bared that there would be “social distancing patrollers” who will ensure that minimum public health protocols will be followed during the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) filing for the 2022 elections.

Media outlets shared pictures of police officers from the Southern Police District tasked to enforce the minimum one-meter distance among people in public spaces.

Some of them wore white sashes indicating they are part of the team monitoring physical distancing measures inside the tent where the COC filing will be held. Their sashes have logos of their police district as well.

Aspiring public officers vying for national positions will submit their COCs at the Harbor Garden Tent in Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City from October 1 to  8.

The poll body said that the wide space venue was chosen to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“The doors will be open, [there’s proper] ventilation, that is a big place to be divided into venue for filing for president, vice president, senators, and party-list groups,” Executive Director Bartolome Sinocruz Jr. of the Commission on Elections said before.

Unlike previous COC filings, candidates can only bring one companion. They will also have to take an RT-PCR or antigen COVID-19 test within 24 hours prior to their filing.

COC filings traditionally attract crowds since aspiring public officers and party-list groups would flock to Comelec offices together with their supporters.


The photos of PNP’s physical distancing patrollers with sashes gained mixed reactions from Filipinos who immediately thought of beauty pageants.

“Ba’t may pa-sash? Mr. & Ms. Universe kayo?” writer Jerry Grácio tweeted in response to the report.

“Chaka ng evening gown, ano ba yan,” another Twitter user quipped. In pageants, there is an evening gown portion where candidates are given a chance to show their grace and elegance in formal wear, as well as showcase their designer’s skill.

“@MissUniversePH kinakabog kayo??? Payag kayo????” a different Filipino exclaimed, tagging the Miss Universe Philippines’ official Twitter account.

“Just in time for #MissUniversePhilippines2021,” wrote another online user.

The coronation of Miss Universe Philippines 2021 is slated on Thursday night. It is available for streaming on KTX.ph while a delayed telecast will be aired on GMA Network on October 3.

The winner of the beauty pageant will represent the country in the 70th Miss Universe to be held in Israel.

Meanwhile, sashes are usually used in pageants. Candidates wear them to identify themselves without comprising the style or appearance of their outfits.

Royals also wear sashes as part of the insignia that accompanies their membership in an order of chivalry or merit.

For example, the Duchess of Cambridge can be seen wearing a thin blue sash as a symbol of her appointment in the Royal Victorian Order.

There are also sashes worn by the military in other countries to denote rank or authority.