Comelec: Voter registration ‘still going very slowly’ despite topping 1 million
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez announced Monday that the voter registration has breached the one million mark despite the pandemic. However, he emphasized that the registration progress remains to be very slow.
“As of January 7, I think we’ve reached the one million mark. However, things are still going very slowly. Mostly because (the situation is still the same). Registration is still four days a week. It’s still Monday to Thursdays only with Fridays reserved for disinfection and Saturday and Sunday being non-working days,” Jimenez said at the Tapatan sa Aristocrat forum held online.
“Our requirements for allowing people to come to the office to register are still as stringent. (The capacity of Comelec offices) to handle registrants is still low mainly because we are preventing people from congregating in our offices,” he added.
The voting registration for this year resumed last January 4, following the holiday break.
Jimenez also reiterated Comelec’s plan to have satellite registrations to conveniently cater to more registrants while following the Covid-19 safety protocols.
In January 2020, Comelec sought early notice of satellite registration in different areas.
“We are looking forward to hopefully being able to conduct satellite registration events by the end of this month as the situation develops,” the spokesman said.
“The problem here is no matter how effective you call people to the office if your office can handle only just a handful at a time, (you will only cause) frustration. The most important thing right now is to expand the capacity of Comelec offices through satellite registrations to accept people who come and register,” he continued.
Comelec aims to achieve five million voter registration before the processing ends in September.
‘A record we don’t want to break’
While the Comelec achieved a record with the number of newly-registered voters, Jimenez shared that there is one record that they are not willing to break.
“Since September 1, wala pa rin tayong naitatalang Covid-19 transmission sa ating mga registration centers. That’s a record we don’t want to break,” he said.
(Since September 1, there is no recorded Covid-19 transmission yet in our registration centers. That’s a record we don’t want to break.)
“At this point, we’re still erring at the side of caution. But again, with close to four million registration still expected to be processed before the end of registrations in September, it’s becoming very crucial, very critical that we basically get a move on,” he added.
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