By Robertzon Ramirez, Ghio Ong | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — With 88 days before registration for the 2022 general election closes, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) vice president and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David urged youths and first time voters to register for the 2022 polls.
In an interview with Church-run Radyo Veritas, David said that casting of votes is everyone’s right and responsibility as citizens of the Philippines, including youths and first time voters.
“When you do not register, you waste your chance to participate in our country’s political life,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.
“You are a citizen. When we are always like that, we will always get the leaders we deserve,” David added.
The bishop has been vocal against the policies of the Duterte administration, particularly how it handled its so-called “war on drugs” and the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that the first step that young people and first-time voters should take in helping the country elect the rightful leaders is to visit the offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and have themselves registered.
The Comelec said on its Twitter account, @COMELEC, that there are only 88 days left before the last day of the voters’ registration on Sept. 30. The agency has previously declared it has yet to reach the target of four million new voter registrants.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon recently reiterated that the Sept. 30 deadline for the voters’ registration for the 2022 national and local elections will no longer be extended despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Comelec opens its offices from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to accept registrants for the 2022 presidential elections, except in some areas that were placed under strict community quarantine.
Some offices of the Comelec have also organized satellite voters’ registration while some accept registrants on weekends to accommodate those who have to work on weekdays.