By Jerick James Pasiliao and Liwayway Yparraguirre | Philippine News Agency
DAGUPAN CITY – The number of registered voters in Pangasinan has reached over 2 million, according to the data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office.
In a forum hosted by the Philippine Information Agency-Pangasinan on Wednesday, provincial election supervisor lawyer Marino Salas said the province has recorded additional 89,517 new voters since the Comelec resumed its registration last year, bringing the total number to 2,036,199 as of July 21.
Salas said the turnout beat their projection, as they only targeted 60,000 to 70,000 registrants for next year’s elections.
“We have already reached the 2 million registered voters in Pangasinan for 2022 (elections). Based on our official list, during the 2019 elections, we had logged over 1.9 million registered voters,” he said.
Salas said they are expecting the total number will still increase as the voter registration will run until September 30.
He said Comelec has adopted flexible means to encourage eligible individuals to register.
He added local Comelec offices are open Mondays to Fridays, including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while off-site registrations are also being conducted in different barangays.
The Comelec is also looking into the feasibility of scheduling the filing of certificates of candidacy (CoC) in October amid the pandemic.
“We are planning to either have scheduling per position during the filing of CoC to avoid overcrowding in our offices, or to transfer the filing to a more spacious venue,” he added.
Meanwhile, over 3,000 Pangasinenses, mostly young voters, have registered with the Comelec for next year’s elections through the mobile registration form app.
Salas said there are 18 pilot localities in Pangasinan where the mobile app is available.
These are Bolinao, Mangatarem, Urbiztondo, Basista, Labrador, Bugallon, Bayambang, Alcala, Sto. Tomas, Sison, Villasis, Urdaneta City, Asingan, Natividad, Rosales, San Nicolas, San Quintin, and Sta. Maria.
"Although it has limitations, it speeds up registration. When using the platform for registration, it can be used by more than one person and it can be used even without an internet connection. All you have to do is to show the generated quick response code at the Comelec office for the biometrics," Salas said.
Aside from the mobile registration app, voter registrants may also avail themselves of the iRehistro online application.
"We devised ways and means that are applicable to the present situation. We have programs that would lessen the possibility of virus transmission while minimum health protocols are strictly followed in all Comelec local offices,” he added. (PNA)