Comelec says ‘not closing doors’ on extending voter registration deadline
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday it is not closing its doors on the possible extension of the voter registration for the 2022 elections.
Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said this during a hearing of the Senate committee on electoral reforms but added that extending the September 30 deadline will trigger a tight schedule for the agency’s preparations.
“We are not closing doors. What I am saying is it will be a very, very tight schedule for us in our timeline. Ang daming apektado (A lot will be affected) from the configuration [of machines] to everything. But again, we will look into that situation,” he said.
Casquejo was responding to the suggestion of Senator Francis Pangilinan to extend the deadline for voter registration for at least 30 days.
In raising this point, Pangilinan said the filing of candidacy for politicians in October would help in the information campaign to encourage more Filipino adults to register for the polls.
“Here we are trying to come up with an information dissemination campaign so that people will register. Your biggest information dissemination campaign is when the candidates start filing because doon ngayon magkakaroon ng (there will be) greater awareness,” Pangilinan said.
Data revealed by the Comelec during the hearing showed there will be 73 million Filipinos aged 18 and above by 2022, citing the projection of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
With the 58 million registered voters as of January, Pangilinan pointed out that this means there are 15 million Filipinos who have yet to be included in the count of participants for next year’s elections.
“If it is just a matter of 30 days extension or 45 days extension, I think the Comelec should consider this. Because precisely you have 15 million estimated who are not registered, so every step at getting them to register should be taken into consideration,” said the senator.
“That’s the least we can do, accommodate more time to register,” he added.
Voter registration is scheduled from Tuesdays to Saturdays, including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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