By Ferdinand Patinio | Philippine News Agency
MANILA – Over 1.3 million would be voters have so far filed their applications for registration for the May 2022 national and local elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.
Latest data from the poll body’s Election Records and Statistics Department (ERSD) showed that a total of 1,339,346 applications have been processed nationwide as of Feb. 4.
The Comelec is looking to register some 4 million new voters during the nationwide voter registration that resumed on Sept. 1, 2020 and will run until Sept. 30, 2021.
Meanwhile, the Comelec said close to 700 Filipinos abroad have registered for the test run of internet voting.
“As per OFOV (Office for Overseas Voting), overall figure is 697 as of Feb. 14, 2021,” it said.
The poll body also reminded foreign and domestic observers who are interested in covering the March 13, 2021 Palawan plebiscite that they can now secure accreditation from the Comelec.
From Feb. 8 to 15, 2021, foreign and domestic observers with official addresses in the National Capital Region may submit their applications for accreditation with the head of the Education and Information Department (EID); for observers residing in other provinces within Region 4-B (Mimaropa) with the Regional Election Director of Region 4-B; and for domestic observers residing within the province of Palawan, with the Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) of Palawan.
It said applicants must submit a duly accomplished application form; two recent 1.5”x1.5” colored photographs of the applicant; if foreigner or foreign group, organization or committee or association organization, endorsement issued by the ambassador or consul of the applicant’s home country; and terms of reference or similar document, explaining the purposes of the election observation mission.
Upon approval of the application, Accredited Observer Passes will be issued, which will grant access and other privileges relating to the conduct of the plebiscite. The passes may be confiscated and the accreditation revoked for violation of the guidelines for accreditation.
The Comelec said observers or monitors must have a bonafide intention to participate in the conduct of the plebiscite and must be free from any political, economic or other conflicts of interests that would interfere with conducting observations/monitoring impartially.
They are also expected to strictly adhere to the code of conduct and refrain from engaging in any of the prohibited acts laid down in the guidelines, it added. (PNA)