Comelec expects .5 million more voters to register
() - October 22, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Half a million people are still expected to register for next year’s elections with 10 days left before the Oct. 31 deadline.

James Jimenez, Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman, said many Filipinos usually do things at the last minute.

“So we expect more, at least some 500,000 people, to register now that the deadline is near,” he said.

Jimenez said an updated figure on the number of registered voters is not yet out, but that they expect this to significantly exceed the 45 million voters in the 2007 elections.

As of July, the Comelec had already pegged the number of voters at around 47 million, he added.

Jimenez said the Comelec had already ordered the extension of office hours in all registration centers.

Starting today until Oct. 31, offices will be open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., he added.

Jimenez said the Comelec has rejected calls to extend the Oct. 31 deadline as they need more time to finalize the list of voters.

On the last day, Oct. 31, registration offices will be open until midnight, he added.

Jimenez said the Comelec will remain open on Sundays in regions devastated by tropical storm “Ondoy” and typhoon “Pepeng.”

These are Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, Cordillera Administrative Region and Metro Manila, he added.

The Comelec had fielded 62 more data capturing machines in some 30 areas in Metro Manila to speed up the registration process, Jimenez said.

The machines are used to capture the biometrics or signatures, photograph and fingerprints of registrants.  – Sheila Crisostomo

AS OF JULY BICOL CAGAYAN VALLEY CALABARZON CENTRAL LUZON COMELEC CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION AND METRO MANILA JAMES JIMENEZ JIMENEZ METRO MANILA SHEILA CRISOSTOMO
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