1.6M SK voters no longer have to register for 2022 polls — Comelec
MANILA, Philippines — Around 1.6 million Filipino youth who were already registered as voters in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will no longer have to register for the 2022 national and local elections subject to the approval of the Electoral Registration Board (ERB), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday.
During a hearing of the Senate committee on electoral reforms, Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Teopisto Elnas said the 1.6 million SK voters who would turn 18 years old by May 2022 would help fill the agency’s target of four million new voter registrants.
“While it is true that we are targeting four million for first time voters, be it remembered that those already registered as SK voters during the barangay elections—there are 1.6 [million] of them, itong registered na (these youths already registered) as SK voters aging 15 to 17—they don’t have to go to the offices of election officers and file their application for registration as regular voters,” he said.
“Instead, their names will be automatically extracted from the SK database and transferred to the regular database,” he added.
But according to Elnas, the extraction of their names would still have to be approved by the local ERBs. He said their respective ERBs would approve the application if they don’t see grounds for disqualification.
“Kung walang objection na matatanggap ang election registration board i-a-approve na ito kaagad but may mga instance like may mga disqualification like hindi na siya citizen at that time when nagka-ERB hearing so that will be a ground for disapproval. But generally, kapag nandoon ka na sa listahan, ang [gagawin] ng election registration board is to approve it and notify na lang ang mga taong concerned,” said Elnas.
(If the election registration board does not see objections, it will approve the extraction of the names, but there are instances when they see grounds for disqualification. For instance, if the person is no longer a Filipino citizen at that time when the ERB holds a hearing, then that will be a ground for disapproval. But generally, if you are already on the list, the election board will approve it and notify those concerned.)
In response, Senator Francis Pangilinan said the Comelec would need to have an information drive so that those whose names will be extracted from the SK voter records will be properly notified.
Elnas said the Comelec has so far recorded a total of 58 million registered voters as of January, eight months before the voter registration ends on September 30.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.