Comelec extends voter registration hours

Published February 14, 2021, 5:25 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Qualified voters will now have more time to register for the May 2022 polls.

Commission on Elections (MANILA BULLETIN)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said all Offices of the Election Officer (OEOs) nationwide will be open to receive applications for voter registration from Tuesdays to Saturdays, including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

OEOs previously accept applicants for voter registration from Mondays to Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In a statement Sunday, Feb. 14, the poll body said the extension of voter registration hours aims to “help bolster voter registration turnout.”

The new schedule will be implemented beginning Feb. 15, 2021.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon last month said they are behind their 4 million target of new registrants.

Data from the poll body showed that there are 1,117,528 applicants for voter registration as of Jan. 14, 2021.

The Comelec said designated disinfection day will be moved from Fridays to Mondays, in addition to daily disinfection measures being conducted by OEOS. 

“However, if the local government unit (LGU) prescribes another day for disinfection and such is within the workweek, the OEOS shall also observe the LGU disinfection day on top of Monday Disinfection Day,” said the poll body.

During disinfection, all Comelec offices nationwide will be closed and there will be no transactions with the public. 

Voter registration for the May 2022 national and local polls resumed on Sept. 1, 2020 except in areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or Modified ECQ. 

Qualified to register are those who will be at least 18 years of age on or before Election Day, or on May 9, 2022; a resident in the Philippines for at least 1 year; and resides in the place where he or she intends to vote for at least 6 months on or before Election Day.

All local OEOs are open from Mondays to Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., to accept applicants for voter registration.

The voter registration period will run until Sept. 30, 2021.

Meanwhile, in Resolution No. 10693, the Comelec ordered the  inclusion of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) voters to the regular voters list as well as the exclusion of youth voters from the list of SK voters.

“The Commission on Elections resolves to promulgate the procedures to include the names of qualified SK voters turning 18 years old for purposes of National, Local and Barangay Elections; and to exclude the names of SK voters more than 30 years old from the SK System (SKS) database,” read the resolution.

“It is the policy of the Commission to adopt a simplified and streamlined registration process for SK voters turning 18 years old, by not requiring them to register anew as regular voters for purposes of voting in the subsequent national, local, and barangay elections,” the poll body said.

“Prior to the resumption of the system of continuing registration of voters for the national, local, and barangay elections, (the Commission shall cause) the extraction of SK voters in the SKS database and deletion of records of those who will be more than 30 years old on or before Election Day,” the Comelec added.

Qualified to be included in the national list of SK voters are those aged 15 to 30 years old, while eligible to register as regular voters are those aged 18 years old and above.