Velasco to Comelec: Ensure all eligible Filipinos can vote
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Saturday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ensure that every eligible Filipino can vote in the 2022 elections after the lower chamber approved on second reading a bill extending the deadline for the registration of voters.
In a statement, Velasco said the Comelec should not allow the elections to be stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The right to vote in an election is one essential part of the democratic process, and Comelec is duty-bound to make sure that all eligible voters are able to register and exercise their right of suffrage,” he said.
Through viva voce voting, the House approved on second reading on Friday House Bill No. 10261 filed by Velasco, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, and Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano.
Under the bill, the last day of registration for next year’s polls “shall be 30 days after the effectivity” of the proposed measure.
“Extending the voter registration would allow our young people, as well as those who have been deactivated, to register and vote in next year’s elections,” Velasco said.
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Velasco noted that 73 million voters are qualified to participate in the May 2022 polls. The Comelec has reported that there are around 61 million registered voters in the country as of August 23.
He pointed out that it is only proper to extend the voter registration deadline to make up for the time lost due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Velasco also prodded the Comelec to set up measures that would make it easier for Filipinos to register and vote, including fixing long lines at voter registration centers.
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