House Assistant Majority Leader Quezon City Rep. Anthony Peter "Onyx" Crisologo has filed House Bill (HB) No. 7746 which seeks to amend Republic Act No. (RA) 8189, also known as the Voter's Registration Act of 1986, to institutionalize an electronic voters' registration system in the country.
"The government has continuously campaigned for the protection of the rights of the Filipino people and has relentlessly encouraged the people to exercise voting as one of their civic duties. But with the ongoing health crisis that the country is currently experiencing, various challenges continue to emerge that may impede the participation of many individuals in the coming election," Crisologo said.
Crisologo noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people's mobility and compromised the safety of human interaction.
"This consequently impacted the existing systems in our government agencies and has compelled many of our institutions to be creative and develop effective alternative systems that are sensitive and responsive to the current needs and limitations of the community," he said.
Crisologo said his proposed Online Voters' Registration Act of 2020 will create an alternative electronic mode of registration that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) may tap in response to potential national critical situations like the current pandemic.
He said this system will only be used temporarily and only when the country had been declared under a national emergency during the period of registration.
Comelec shall implement a security system that allows the proper verification of the identification of each applicant and require them to submit pertinent documents, Crisologo said.
The country will hold its next elections in May 2022 to elect President Duterte’s successor.