PH voters reach 62 million, mostly in youth sector
MANILA, Philippines — Around 62 million Filipinos are registered to vote in the May 9 general polls next year although the number is expected to go up once the Commission on Elections (Comelec) adds the names of those who signed up two weeks before the Oct. 30 deadline.
Of the 62 million registered voters as of Oct. 18, more than half or 32.7 million belong to the youth sector, according to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez. Around 5 million are voting for the first time.
In the last elections in 2019, there were 61 million registered voters.
On May 9, 2022, voting hours will be from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo. But this may be extended depending on the number of people still lined up at polling precincts on or before 7 p.m., he told lawmakers during a hearing of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms on Wednesday.
“We do not expect that it will end at 7 p.m. It will continue until such time all those inside or within 30 meters will be [accommodated]. We have procedures on that,” he said.
Casquejo added that they had not yet released detailed guidelines on the campaign period for candidates as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a threat to the public.
But the poll body has already started accepting applications for local absentee voting.
Only government officials and employees, including military and police personnel, as well as media members and their technical and support staff, may avail themselves of this option should they be assigned to places where they are not registered to vote on May 9, 2022. Qualified absentee voters can cast their votes on April 27, 28 and 29 but only for president, vice president, senators and party list representatives.
The deadline for the submission of applications is on March 7.
—WITH A REPORT FROM NESTOR CORRALES
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