Comelec urged to extend overseas voter registration in key areas
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos on Monday appealed to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reopen for at least two more weekends the overseas voter registration in Philippine embassies and consulates with the most number of still unregistered Filipinos.
“If possible…that we extend for at least two weekends [the voter registration] in the most populous or the consulates with the most Filipinos and allow our overseas workers to vote,” Marcos said during the Comelec’s budget hearing in the Senate.
The poll body earlier extended the registration of overseas Filipinos from Oct. 1 to 14.
“I just wanted to make an appeal on behalf of our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) because their last day was last week, Oct. 14. For some reason or another they were not aware of that date or claim not to have been told and that they were believing, they were under the impression, that it was also Oct. 30 overseas,” Marcos pointed out.
“We all know that the overseas voting takes place a month earlier than the local voting and that the Comelec needs time to prepare,” she added.
Marcos cited the “confusion brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the numerous extensions and the difficulties in travel of our OFWs” in her call to have the registration period extended.
“This is not even taking into consideration the problems of the seafarers who have great difficulty in getting to our consulates,” she added.
In response to the appeal raised by Marcos, Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said the en banc will take up the proposed extension of overseas voter registration on Wednesday.
“We will put it on the agenda this week,” Abas told senators.
“Paguusapan namin if kaya pa naming i-stretch…stretch na stretch na po siya pero i-try pa rin namin,” he added.
(We will discuss if we can still stretch it, it’s already stretched to its limit but we will still try.)
He also agreed with the proposal of Marcos to only reopen the registration in consulates which are still expecting the most number of registrants.
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