By Allen Estabillo | Philippine News Agency
GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in South Cotabato province is set to resume its satellite registration activities in the barangays to cater to more prospective voters.
Lawyer Jay Gerada, Comelec-South Cotabato supervisor, said Wednesday that the city and municipal election officers are currently coordinating with the barangays for the remote registration and other related transactions.
Gerada said the remote registration seeks to complement the limited transactions in their field offices due to the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Comelec offices in the province currently cater to an average of 50 individuals per day, a huge drop from the 200 to 300 before the onset of the pandemic last year, he said.
“We had a good turnout in the previous satellite registrations as we were able to cater up to 300 clients per setting,” Gerada said in an online forum hosted by the Philippine Information Agency in Region 12.
The Comelec provincial office conducted satellite voter registration activities early this year but was temporarily suspended due to the increasing Covid-19 cases.
Gerada assured that their offices will strictly implement the minimum health standards and other government protocols in conducting the remote registration, which will be set up in barangay gymnasiums and schools.
He said they will accept the registration of new or first-time voters, transfer of precincts, correction of personal data such as marital status, and the reactivation of voters.
As of Wednesday, Gerada said the total registered voters in the province stands at over 550,000, which is “about the same number” during the 2019 local and national midterm elections.
But he said they expect the figures to increase as they expand the registration activities until the deadline in September.
“Despite the pandemic, we’re happy that many prospective voters have been coming to our offices to register and we expect the number to even increase in the coming weeks,” he added. (PNA)