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Voter registration resumes on September 1
Based on Comelec Resolution 10674, the poll body over the weekend said “continuing registration of voters” shall commence on Sept. 1, “except in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)” with protocols on infection prevention and control against COVID-19.
Edd Gumban, file

Voter registration resumes on September 1

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - August 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Adjusting to the “new normal,” the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has come up with protocols that will be observed when voter registration resumes on Sept. 1.

Based on Comelec Resolution 10674, the poll body over the weekend said “continuing registration of voters” shall commence on Sept. 1, “except in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)” with protocols on infection prevention and control against COVID-19.

“The Commission deems it necessary to adopt supplementary procedures and modify its calendar of activities by rescheduling the conduct of the system of continuing registration of voters and other related registration activities,” the resolution stated.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez noted in areas currently under ECQ or modified ECQ, voter registration will automatically resume once the quarantine status is either downgraded to general community quarantine, modified GCQ (MGCQ) or if the quarantine is lifted entirely.

However, voter registration in areas currently not under community quarantine, or which are under MECQ or GCQ, shall automatically be suspended upon the upgrading of their quarantine status to MECQ or ECQ.

“As the Comelec opens voter registration, we are encouraging applicants to download the application form from www.comelec.gov.ph,” Jimenez said, as he reminded the public not to sign their downloaded form.

He added it “is strongly recommended that the downloaded form be filled out only in front of the EOs (election officers) at the Comelec office.”

According to Comelec, they decided to resume registration “by institutionalizing preventive
health measures, adopting the new normal.”

Comelec maintained that the conduct of satellite registration remains suspended until further notice.

“However, in cities or municipalities with zero (suspect, probable, confirmed) COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days before the actual conduct of satellite registration, as determined by the city or unicipal Health Officers, OEOs (office of the election officers) may conduct satellite registration,” it added.

The filing of application shall be from Tuesday to Saturday, including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the office of the OEO.

The OEO will have to limit the number of registrants per day, taking into consideration the office space, physical setup of registration areas, workforce on a given day and the 3 p.m. cut-off time for receiving application forms.

The resolution showed that registrants will have to fill out “coronavirus self-declaration forms.”

Aside from this, the Comelec will implement the “no face mask and shield, no registration” in prescribed areas. As an alternative, “face masks, ear loop masks, indigenous reusable, do-it-yourself masks or combination thereof which can effectively lessen the transmission of COVID-19 may be used by registrants.”

The Comelec will also implement physical distancing and conduct transactions through glass windows or plastic sheet barriers.

The poll body said it will apply 70 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizers and check the body temperature of registrants before they can be allowed inside the OEOs.

It will encourage registrants to bring their own pens, among other health protocols.

VOTER REGISTRATION
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