Manila Standard - Register, register, register

20 March 2021

By Manila Standard

We join authorities in whipping up the more than four million new voters to register this early for the 2022 national elections, where the country will invest in the political future of this country of 110 million people.

Already the Commission on Elections has processed over 1 million applications for voter registration from early January to the second week of this month—the voters expected to join the estimated 63 million registered, including those who have been reactivated, for the May 2022 national and local elections.

The Comelec, the government’s election watchdog, is targeting to register some four million voters—those, under the Constitution, who are at least 18 years of age and shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election.

Citing latest data, the poll body has said of the 1,092,484 applications processed, 586,695 are females and 505,879 are males.

Last month, the Comelec reported more than 1.3 million would-be voters had so far filed their applications for registration for the May 2022 polls.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez also reported that from a voting population of 61 million in 2019, they have deactivated nearly three million voters for failing to vote for two consecutive elections, leaving only around 59 million registered voters.

“We also have roughly 1 million to 1.5 million potential reactivations. The reason for this is after every election, we do a round of deactivation of people who failed to vote twice,” Jimenez has said.

In the 2019 polls, the voter turnout was 75.90 percent or roughly 46 million to 47 million voters.

Currently, the Comelec is conducting a nationwide voter registration, which will run until Sept. 30, 2021. Applications may be submitted to all Offices of the Election Officer. The Comelec has even started accepting applications on Saturdays, for those who have schools or jobs to attend to during the week.

The poll body has explained that voter registration remains suspended under Resolution 10674, in critical areas that may be under localized enhanced community quarantine as determined by appropriate authorities.

But where voter registration is not suspended, we encourage those already 18 and above who are not yet in the list of voters to register and invest in the future and welfare of our country.

The exercise of suffrage cannot and must not be ignored in a democracy like the Philippines.