By BELLA CARIASO | Daily Tribune
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Sunday said there will be no extension of voters’ registration which will end on 30 September 2021.
In an interview over DZMM, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said that only 300,000 of the targeted seven million delisted voters were able to register.
“The voters’ registration is very important as we are holding the presidential election in May 2022 so for those who can register, please register,” Guanzon said.
Guanzon said that there are at least 3.5 million new voters who registered but only two million of these are 18-year-olds.
“We have at least 57 million registered voters and if you add the newly registered voters, we will only have a total of 58.5 million voters. Many still failed to registered, including the bulk of the seven million who were removed from the database after their failure to cast their vote for two consecutive elections,” Guanzon said.
She added that the September 30 deadline for the voters’ registration will push through as the filing of certificate of candidacy will start in October as the Comelec needs to finalize the list of precincts in December.
“We are asking those who are no longer in the database especially those who received their vaccines to register,” Guanzon said.
Guanzon added that the poll body has extended the registration until Saturday to accommodate the students and those who are working.
“Especially those turning 18 in May elections, you are young and have strong resistance against the COVID-19, we have voters’ registration during Saturdays for those who have online classes and those who are working during weekdays,” she added.
At the same time, Guanzon reiterated her call for local government units (LGUs) to prioritize Comelec employees in the vaccination program to allow them to open satellite registrations at the barangay level.
“As of now, we can only accommodate satellite registration for barangays with zero transmission of COVID-19 like in Negros Occidental which has no local transmission. Elections officers will not go to the barangay if there are COVID cases so it is better for the mayors to prioritize our election officers so that we can have a full blast barangay satellite registration, especially for PWDs (persons with disabilities) and the seniors,” Guanzon said.
Guanzon said that the massive information campaign of Comelec is ongoing to ensure the people are aware of the ongoing voters’ registration.
“We are announcing the voters’ registration through our Facebook, we also have our Twitter, we have radio interviews. Our elections officers are required to announce in different radio stations about the voters’ registration especially if there are barangay satellite registration in the area,” she noted.
She also called on civil society groups to provide public transportation to encourage new voters to register.
“You can also organize community pantries outside the Comelec offices for those who will register. This is being done in Cadis. The community pantry provides food packs for those are register,” Guanzon said.