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House approves on second reading bill extending voter registration for a month

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
House approves on second reading bill extending voter registration for a month
This Feb. 4, 2021 photo shows voter registration at the Comelec office in Quezon City.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:00 p.m.) — The House of Representatives approved on second reading a bill seeking to extend voter registration for one month, a move that the Commission on Elections warned would delay preparations for the 2022 polls.

The bill, filed by top House leaders including House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, swiftly hurdled the plenary as expected on the same day that the House suffrage and electoral reforms committee approved the measure.

Lawmakers from across party lines have been supportive of calls to extend voter registration, with the House having unanimously passed a resolution urging the Commission on Elections to extend the deadline for registration.

However, Comelec commissioner Aimee Ferolino told lawmakers that extending voter registration for another month would be “very difficult.”

“If this honorable body deems it necessary to extend, our elbow room for the preparation of elections, for the printing of the ballots, the finalization of the project of precincts, which will determine the ballots that will be printed and shipped to different posts, would be greatly affected,” Ferolino said during the hearing.

Ferolino repeated the offer of the Comelec to extend voter registration for a week after the filing of certificates of candidacy, which has been panned by lawmakers.

The Senate approved Wednesday on second reading a similar bill extending voter registration for a month.

2022 ELECTIONS COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
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