By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it expects 4 million new voters as the registration period for the 2022 elections resumed on Monday.
“We expect more than 4 million new registered voters to come within the next 20 months. Remember, the registration period started today and will run until September 30, 2021,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in an interview.
Jimenez noted that based on initial reports, many applicants went to their local offices to apply for voter registration.
“In the meantime, medyo marami ang nagparehistro sa first day pa lang (there are many registrants as early as the first day) and we expect that this trend will continue. Actually, this trend was observed from three or four beginnings of voter registration. It did not change,” he said.
In the past, queues of registration usually pile up on the days leading to the end of the voters’ registration period.
Jimenez reported that they visited their Manila field office in Arroceros, where applicants are lining up until the stairs to fill up their forms.
“This is the same sort of thing that we are seeing…the other office we visited was Pasay City, we were not able to take some pictures but they reported that there were also many people there who are applying for registration,” he said.
At present, the poll body has yet to receive any reports of problems in the election registration.
“So far wala pa naman naging problema (there are no problems). There are no people saying forms are in short supply. Two weeks prior to the resumption, our offices are ready because we expect that many will flock to get registered on the first day,” he added.
Meanwhile, a former official of the citizens’ arm of the Comelec urged the public to register for them to be able to participate in the May 2022 national and local polls.
“Oh yes, definitely all qualified voters should register. Those who have to amend their registration i.e. change of address etc. should also do so asap. Don’t wait for the last minute,” said Henrietta de Villa, former national chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting.
Stressing that elections are a vital part of the country’s democracy, de Villa said this is the time where Filipino voters can contribute to the pursuit of change.
“Go, Register! Be a responsible Filipino Voter,” she added.
Accepted during the period are applications for registration, transfer of registration records, change/correction of entries in the registration record, reactivation of registration record, and reinstatement of a name in the list of voters.
Applicants are advised to personally submit their applications at the Office of the Election Officer of the city or municipality where the applicant resides, Mondays to Saturdays including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Registrants must be at least 18 years of age on or before Election Day, or on May 9, 2022.
He/she must be a resident in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where the applicant intends to vote for at least six months on or before the day of the election. (PNA)