Inquirer.net : Prioritize poll workers for vaccination to meet 4M voter registration target — Comelec

News & Interviews
17 May 2021

By John Eric Mendoza | Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Election (Comelec) on Monday expressed fears that it may not reach its target of registering four million new voters by September if poll workers would not be prioritized in vaccination against COVID-19.

Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon said 6,500 of its poll workers nationwide need to be vaccinated so the agency could meet its target.

Latest available data from the poll body showed there are now 3,222,137 registered voters.

“Ang mga mayors po, nananawagan ako, kung maaari, front liner naman din po kami,” she told Teleradyo in an interview. “Hindi na po kami aabot, ang target namin maka-register ng 3.5 million, pero we have like 5 million to go. September 30 ending na eh, there’s no extension.”

(I am calling for all mayors, if possible, we are front liners too. We may not reach our target. Our target was to register some 3.5 million voters, but we have like 5 million to go. The deadline is September 30, there is no extension.)

Comelec said earlier they are targeting to register four million new voters before the September deadline.

“Please include our election officers in the vaccination, so we can begin barangay (village) registration right away in your municipalities and cities,” Guanzon added.

Guanzon pointed out that vaccinating poll workers is a matter of “public interest.”

“Nationwide, we have about 6,500 personnel,” she said, “Di naman siguro magagalit ang taumbayan kung mauuna ang election officers kasi public interest naman ito eh.”

(Perhaps the public won’t mind if the election officers got ahead on the vaccination because this is a matter of public interest.)

The poll registration in NCR Plus resumes this Monday, although with shortened hours.