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9M voters may be disenfranchised in 2016 – Comelec

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday reiterated its call to all registered voters to have their biometrics taken to be able to vote in the 2016 polls.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said at least nine million voters would be disenfranchised in 2016 for lack of biometrics.

“The voters’ registration is ongoing. Have your biometrics taken because ‘no bio, no boto’,” Jimenez posted in his twitter account @jabjimenez.

The poll body said only 576,470 out of 9.6 million voters have so far validated their registration through biometrics.

“More than nine million voters still don’t have  biometrics,” Jimenez said.

Under Republic Act 10367 or the Mandatory Biometrics Registration Act of 2013, voters will not be able to vote in 2016 unless their biometrics data such as digital signature, photograph and fingerprints are with the Comelec.

The poll body recently opened satellite registration in four Robinsons malls in Metro Manila to encourage voters to register or update their registration.

Comelec academy

Meanwhile, the poll body is planning to establish a Comelec academy to enhance the core competency of its officials and employees in line with preparations for the 2016 elections.

Comelec Commissioner Luie Tito Guia said the academy aims at providing “centralized, consistent and continuing training program for its people.”

“The poll body’s 5,000 officials and employees will be our boots on the ground come 2016 when more than 50 million Filipinos troop to the polls to elect the country’s new set of leaders,” he said.

Guia said they foresee the academy not only as a “learning institution but as a resource center for research activities of election administration in the Philippines.”

Jimenez, for his part, said the focus of the academy will be “capacity building.”

“It will be like an institutional development where we build up core competences of our officers, both in central and in the field. And as we get closer to elections, it is where we will include training to improve service to voters and other stakeholders,” he said.

Jimenez added that election laws, values formation, sensitive training and management principles will be included in the training program.

BIOMETRICS

COMELEC

COMELEC COMMISSIONER LUIE TITO GUIA

GUIA

JAMES JIMENEZ

JIMENEZ

MANDATORY BIOMETRICS REGISTRATION ACT

METRO MANILA

UNDER REPUBLIC ACT

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