Over 100 groups urge Comelec to extend voter registration deadline | Inquirer News
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Over 100 groups urge Comelec to extend voter registration deadline

The Comelec is gearing up for the national mall registration day on September 11, to be conducted in the National Capital Region.

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

More than a hundred universities, colleges and even business groups have urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the deadline of voter registration for another month, a strong call for the agency to be more considerate during the pandemic and give Filipinos more time to register for the crucial 2022 elections.

The groups include some of the country’s top universities as well as some its most prominent business groups, such as the University of the Philippines, the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines.

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In a joint statement, they urged the Comelec to extend the Sept. 30 deadline for voter registration to Oct. 31.

They appealed for the Comelec to consider the impact of the pandemic in rethinking its position, as well as recognize the fact that while vaccines have already made it relatively safer for some to go out, the risk is still high for a lot of the unvaccinated, including the youth who are not in the priority sectors for COVID-19 vaccine jabs.

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“Pressed by anxiety over

immediate existential concerns, many Filipinos have not been afforded the time and mental leeway to register to vote,” they said.

‍The groups urged the Comelec to reconsider its decision on behalf of the Filipino youth, many of whom will be first-time voters in the 2022 elections.

On Friday, the Comelec’s P26.728-billion proposed budget for 2022 hurdled the House appropriations panel, even as some lawmakers backed their bid for more funding.

The poll body initially proposed a P41.9-billion budget to cover overseas absentee voting and the 2022 elections, as well as the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

But its proposal was slashed by P15 billion, leaving the Comelec with only P26 billion.

Among those disapproved by the Department of Budget and Management was the grant of hazard pay to the board of election inspectors and poll workers who will serve in the 2022 polls.

Comelec chair Sheriff Abas said the Comelec would consider the possibility of increasing service credits for teachers serving as poll workers.

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The Comelec is pushing to allow COVID-19-positive registered voters to cast their ballot in the 2022 elections in a special isolation room in polling precincts.

“We will make a way to set up an isolation center in each polling center, to separate them just in case they will be confirmed positive, and they can vote in the isolation center,” Abas said, adding that the health protocols for Election Day would still be reviewed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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TAGS: 2022 elections, Comelec, extend, groups, Schools, Voter Registration
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