Comelec conducts satellite registration in Albay island-villages
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—Officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Albay have started conducting satellite registrations and the taking of biometrics in island-villages and far-flung areas in the province in preparation for the May 2016 elections.
An Albay Comelec supervisor, Romeo Serrano, said satellite registrations and the taking and validating of biometrics were conducted starting last month in remote and island-villages on Fridays and Saturdays to reach out to residents who had no time or resources to go to Comelec offices.
The registration and capturing of biometric data will go on until October.
Biometric data refer to the automated identification of an individual, particularly his or her photograph, fingerprint and signature captured by the Comelec’s voter registration machine.
Areas already visited by the Comelec were Barangays (villages) Galicia in Rapu-Rapu town and San Miguel in Tabaco City.
“It’s very costly for [residents] as they have to take a boat and go to the town proper just for the validation. That’s why we thought of visiting and rendering our service to them,”Serrano said.
He encouraged registered voters to have their biometrics taken at their respective Comelec offices, even if they were able to cast their votes in the last two elections to prevent disenfranchisement during the 2016 elections.
He said the Comelec would be strictly implementing Republic Act No. 10367, an act providing for mandatory biometrics voter registration.
Serrano said the Comelec would be focused on the “No Bio, No Boto” campaign in which voters would lose their eligibility to cast their votes in next year’s elections if they had no biometric data in their voter registration record.
“I am appealing to manually registered voters to have their biometrics taken before the deadline on Oct. 31 as it would only take about two to five minutes,” he said.
Based on Comelec records, at least 92,600 of the 700,000 voters in the province have yet to have their biometrics taken, Serrano said.