Satellite voter's registration areas in churches urged

Dennis Carcamo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - An election watchdog on Friday proposed to the Commission on Elections to put up satellite voters' registration areas in parishes and in barangays with large voting population.

Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting chairperson Henrietta de Villa said more people will have more access to registration if it is done in parishes because they go to hear mass on Sundays.

De Villa said staff of the satellite voter's registration booths could announce the schedule of signing up at the parishes after the Holy Mass to intensify the poll body's information campaign.

"It's good that they open the voters registration on Sunday. But they have to advertise this, kailangang i-promote maigi. PPCRV will help announce it in Churches na after their mass they can go straight to the office of Comelec and can register.

"I would like to suggest also since they are doing that since talaga naman ang mga tao, many flock to the church on Sunday, sana mag-announce sila na on certain Sunday, specific parishes or barangays. I would suggest a satellite registration sa mga designated parishes na may malalaking populasyon on Sunday morning half day. That is very practical for me, kaya piliin nila yung strategic area na maraming botante o voting age, at sa Simbahan usually naman ang simbahan is very accessible dun sila maglagay ng satellite registration office," she told Church-run Radyo Veritas.

She also said that it would also help  if there are voters' education drive in schools like holding seminars and conferences to underscore the importance of registering to vote the leaders of the land.

"Importante ang promotion sa students, like short seminars, conferences to show the students the importance of registering because that is the first step for electoral process at mahalaga talaga para sa lahat na makalahok. At make them realize the importance of their vote. Gayundin hihingi kami ng tulong sa mga parokya. We will also help the Comelec  promote the special registration on Sunday," De Villa said.

She also called on the Comelec to facilitate the implementation of the biometrics or finger scanning process in voters' registration to eliminate the cases of "flying voters" during elections.

"Kung lahat naka-biometrics, it would be very easy.  Kung naka-biometrics,  hindi na kailangan na magtatanung pa. Kung ikaw ito kahit may ID kasi lalabas na dun sa finger print. Hindi ko nga maintindihan bakit hindi ma-implement yun? Yung  finger print mo ang mag-identify sa yo. Kasi sometimes iba-iba, naiiba ang itsura, kung ang finger print ang identifying mark ng tao. Kaya importante yung biometrics mas mawi-weed out ang mga flying voters," she said.

The Comelec earlier announced that about eight million registered voters have no biometrics data.

The national voter's registration is scheduled from May 6 this year until Oct. 31, 2015.

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