By Analou De Vera | Manila Bulletin
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Wednesday, February 16, that it has extended the registration hours for new voters in order to accomodate more applications.
“Para maka extend po kami, hindi na po 3 p.m. ang deadline ng registration, makakaextend na po kami ng 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. [The deadline (of registration hours) is no longer 3 p.m. We can now extend it to 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.],” said Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon in a radio interview.
Guanzon said that they were still behind their target of registering four million new voters, or those who will turn 18-years-old before the conduct of the May 2022 elections.
“Before May 9, 2022, ayon sa National Statistics Authority, four million dapat ang mag 18-years-old. Ang nakarehistro lamang ay 1,112,000. So, may almost three million pa tayong hahanapin [Before May 9, 2022, according to the National Statistics Authority, four million people will be turning 18-years-old by then. Only 1,112,000 were registered. So, we have almost three million more to look for],” said Guanzon.
The Comelec official said that they will discuss today the possible implementation of barangay satellite registration to encourage more registrants.
“Pag-uusapan na yung barangay satellite registration kung paano ba gagawin iyan. Magde-depend iyan sa contamination rate dyan ng mga LGU (local government units) at mga barangay [We will be discussing how we can implement the barangay satellite registration. It will depend on the contamination rate of the LGUs at the barangay],” said Guanzon.
Meanwhile, Guanzon said that the face-to-face campaign activities for the May 2022 national and local polls may still be allowed, provided that they will strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards amid the current threat of the pandemic.
“Depende po sa IATF (Interagency Task Force) na mga rules iyan. Kunwari Metro Manila is under GCQ (general community quarantine)…so limited dapat ang social distancing nila, two meters [That will depend on the IATF rules. For example in Metro Manila which is under GCQ, the social distancing of two meters (must be followed)],” she said.
“Pwede naman po silang mangampanya pero two meters minimum tapos may mask sila. Sila, yung mga nangangampanya may mask, tsaka yung mga taong nakikinig sa kanila may mask din. Saka may limit na po iyan, hindi naman pwedeng isang libo kayo [They can still campaign but they must follow the health standard of physical distancing of two meters and wearing of face mask. The individual who is campaigning and his or her listeners should wear masks. Then, the number of audience must also be limited, it cannot be thousands],” she added.