By Bernadette E. Tamayo | The Manila Times
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is inclined to extend voters' registration to October 31.
Sen. Maria Josefa Imelda "Imee" Marcos revealed this on Tuesday after a Comelec official informed her of the poll body's decision to extend the September 30 deadline.
"Maraming salamat (Thank you), Comelec. Director Teopisto Elnas Jr. has just called me to inform us that the Commissioners en banc will pass a resolution tomorrow (September 29) extending the registration to October 31."
With voter registration sure to be extended, Marcos voiced optimism that the number of voters in the 2022 elections could be the highest the country has ever seen despite the pandemic.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People's Participation, lauded Comelec's move to override the original deadline for voter registration.
"The more voters, the louder the voice of the people and of God in next year's elections. Director Elnas has confirmed that the commissioners en banc will get the resolution done tomorrow," Marcos said.
More than 61 million new and returning voters have registered, as of August, compared to over 61,8 million who cast their votes in the 2019 national and local elections.
Due to time and logistical constraints compounded by the pandemic, the Comelec had hesitated to extend the voter registration period until the Senate on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill for that purpose.
Marcos noted that would-be voters continue to flock even before sunrise to Comelec's satellite centers where limited daily slots for registration are being offered, in keeping with health and safety protocols.