Voter registration extension is good, but Ka Leody says it should’ve been automatic
MANILA, Philippines — While he welcomed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision to extend the voter’s registration period, presidential candidate and labor leader Leody de Guzman said that voters eligible to vote should have been registered automatically.
De Guzman said in a statement on Monday that if the country adopts a system where voters are automatically registered as long as they are eligible, people would be freed from a bureaucratic process that is a major stumbling block for them to exercise their rights.
To prove his point, the presidential bet said that other countries like Israel, Chile, Argentina, and Hungary are already using an automated form of registration.
“Bagamat makakatulong ang extension ng voter registration para mas marami ang makaboto sa halalan ng 2022, hindi naman dapat kailangan ang voter registration. Karapatan natin bilang mamamayan na bumoto,” De Guzman explained. [Although the extension of voter registration will help to include more voters in the 2022 elections, voter registration should not be required],” said de Guzman.
“Dapat automatic na pagdating mo ng 18 anyos, botante ka na. Hindi dapat mahirap gamitin ang karapatan mo,” he added.
(It should be automatic that upon reaching 18 years of age, you become a voter. It should not be difficult to exercise your right.)
Comelec, after pressure from various sectors and Congress itself, extended the voter registration period from October 11 to 30, running from Mondays to Fridays.
But de Guzman — a labor leader who started out as a garments worker — feared that some workers would hesitate to register for the 2022 polls given that a lot of them do not have paid leaves.
This means not showing up to work may result in a non-payment of salaries for that day.
“Nalulungkot ako na marami pa ring manggagawa na no-work, no-pay, ang hindi makakapagrehistro,” De Guzman said.
(I am saddened that many workers on no-work, no-pay arrangements would not be able to register.)
“Nakikiusap ako sa mga negosyante, punan ang kakulangan ng pamahalaan. Bigyan ng paid leave ang mga arawang manggagawa na nais magparehistro,” he added.
(I am asking employers to step up for the government’s gaps and give workers who wish to register paid leaves.)
Last September 28, de Guzman accepted the nomination of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) for him to run as president. He then formalized his candidacy last October 6, filing his certificate of candidacy before the Comelec.
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