Comelec: New voter registrants top 2 million

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — More than two million people have registered in the ongoing voter registration for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, exceeding the target set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“As of July 20… lampas-lampas na tayo sa ating projected target. Umabot na sa 2,119,878 ang mga nagpatala na bagong botante,” acting Comelec spokesman Rex Laudiangco said during yesterday’s Laging Handa forum.

From an initial 400,000 registrants, the Comelec raised its target to two million after receiving 1.7 million applicants during the first two weeks of voter registration.

Laudiangco said 1,326,415 of the registrants are aged 15 to 17 while 680,497 are aged 18 to 30. A total of 112,966 are 31 years old and above.

He said there will be no extension of voter registration. Existing laws prohibit the holding of voter registration 120 days before election day.

Laudiangco said some Comelec satellite offices, such as those in malls, are ready to accept voter applications from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. only until today.

Voter registration resumed on July 4.

Laudiangco said the poll body would not stop its preparations for the holding of barangay and SK elections in December until a law postponing the political exercise is passed.

He said the next step is the promulgation of  resolutions that will be the basis for the procurement of ballot papers and printing services.

Meanwhile, another bill was filed at the House of Representatives yesterday calling for the postponement of the barangay and SK elections.

Tarlac first district Rep. Jaime Cojuangco filed House Bill 2071 yesterday, which seeks to reschedule the twin polls on the first Monday of May next year, saying the budget for the elections can be used for other pressing concerns.

He said the more than P 8 billion allocation for the barangay and SK elections can be used for an economic stimulus program.

“These may include extension of loans for micro and small businesses, financial support or ayuda for the families of the unemployed and such other assistance needed by the general population,” Cojuangco said.

On the other hand, Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel said the postponement of the elections would ”hinder rather than help achieve efficient governance and services for pandemic recovery.” –  Sheila Crisostomo


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