Lagman: Law mandates Comelec to allow voter registration until January 2022
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is mandated by law to allow voter registration for the 2022 national elections to continue through January 9, 2022, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Friday.
Lagman cited Republic Act No. 8189 or “The Voter’s Registration Act of 1996”, which he authored, in arguing that Comelec cannot refuse to conduct a longer period of voter registration.
The lawmaker, who is also a lawyer, said that Section 8 of the law states that voter registration can be conducted until 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a special election.
Lagman explained that under the law, the registration of voters for next year’s elections would be up to January 9, 2022, which is 120 days before the May 9, 2022, regular elections.
“The stalling of the voter’s registration due to the pandemic makes the implementation of R.A. No. 8189 more reasonable and critical,” Lagman said in a statement.
“The Supreme Court in Kabataan Party List v. Comelec upheld the implementation of Section 8 of R.A. No. 8189 for the May 2010 regular elections,” he added.
Further, Lagman said current pending measures in the House of Representatives and the Senate seeking to extend the voter registration to October 31, 2021 “are no longer necessary.”
Currently, Comelec has set the deadline for voter registration on September 30, 2021.
“If the said bills were to be enacted into law, the period for continuing registration of voters will be shortened to October 31, 2021, instead of January 9, 2021, for the May 2022 elections, and for all subsequent elections because of the repealing clauses in said bills,” Lagman said.
On Friday, the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms approved House Bill No. 10261 filed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, and Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano extending the voter registration to October 31 this year.
A counterpart measure has been approved on the second reading in the Senate.
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