17-month voters’ registration ends
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - October 31, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The 17-month voters’ registration ended yesterday as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) did not heed calls for an extension.

“No extension. We gave the people a year and a half to register and validate their biometrics. I think we have done enough to let the people know about the registration,” Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said in an interview.

Bautista said the poll body extended the voters’ registration in some areas hit by Typhoon Lando in Cagayan Valley region.

“It’s the (Comelec) Region 2 that requested for a one-day extension. It’s their discretion because they are the ones who know the situation in the field,” he said.

A petition has been filed by Ang Kabataan party-list group before the Supreme Court seeking an extension of voters’ registration.

The group asked the high court to order the Comelec to extend the registration period to Jan. 8, 2016.

The voters’ registration started in May 2014. In the past weeks, deadline beaters crowded the local Comelec offices and satellite registration centers in shopping malls.

Under the law, voters without biometrics will not be allowed to vote in the May 9, 2016 elections. As of September, some three million Filipinos do not have biometrics.

Bautista said they could no longer adjust the registration period because it would affect their timeline for next year’s polls.

He said had the voters come early to registration venues, they would not have to go through long queues.  

“How long does it take to register? Less than five minutes. We really have to change the habit of deadline beating,” he said.

ACIRC ANG KABATAAN AS OF SEPTEMBER BAUTISTA CAGAYAN VALLEY COMELEC COMELEC CHAIRMAN ANDRES BAUTISTA NBSP REGISTRATION SUPREME COURT TYPHOON LANDO
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