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Comelec still below 1% of target registrants
Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said the number of registrants in Cebu Province including from those in the tri-cities has not reached to even one percent from the projected increase of voters’ registration for this period.

Comelec still below 1% of target registrants

Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - March 3, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Commission on Elections has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to generating registration of voters for the 2022 elections.

Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said the number of registrants in Cebu Province including from those in the tri-cities has not reached to even one percent from the projected increase of voters’ registration for this period.

“Taas pa gyud, 4% pa kapin ang sa increase nga apason. We projected a 5% increase sa 3 years na nga difference ba, sa pagparehistro namo, human election balik na sad sa registration, ang projection na namo kay is around 5% ang increase but now, ang sa increase wala ra kaabot sa 1%,” Castillano said.

The low turnout of registrants is attributed to the coronavirus disease pandemic that prohibits people from going to Comelec offices, forcing the poll body to adjust the schedule of registration.

The commission observed that with the limited time for application of aspiring voters, few applicants go to the local Comelec offices.

This scheme was already changed since February 15, 2021, according to Castillano.

“So it goes to show nga kadtong sa una nga 8 a.m.-3 p.m. pa ta, restrictive ra kaayo to nga oras, so karon nga gi 8 a.m.-5 p.m. na siya, more people are coming in without sacrificing sa atong new normal protocols,” Castillano said.

The schedule of days was also changed from Monday to Thursday to Tuesday to Saturday every week.

Castillano said after the Comelec extended the hours and days of registration, they have observed an increase of applicants in highly-urbanized cities.

“Almost all sa mga HUCs, ang increase nato is around 67%, sa mga municipalities is around 58% ang increase. In fact ang example nato, sa Cebu City 1st District, 200 kapin ang increase nila usually, before morehistro ra sila go 40-70 a day, now they register 100-200 a day,” Castillano said.

According to the Comelec-Cebu Province data, the number of new voters from February 1 to February 27 has reached 17, 263. This is on top of the 51,000 registrants recorded from September 2020 to January 14, 2021.

The end of registration period for the 2022 elections will be on September 30, 2021.

“That is why we are asking now nga you come early na sa opisina, because if pareho na sa una nga mahitabo nga last two months o last weeks moadto ang atong mga aplikante, we could only accommodate so much, ug dili na ma-practice ang social distancing, mamroblema ta,” Castillano added. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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