The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is doubling efforts to encourage more first time voters to register through the poll body’s online voter registration platform “iRehistro.”
John Paul Martin, city election officer, said that while application for registration in some Comelec offices remain suspended due to quarantine restrictions, some employees are under ‘work-from-home’ arrangements and are doing initiatives to convince applicants to register through their online portal.
To ensure COVID-19 protocols are observed and to prevent registrants from overcrowding Comelec offices Martin said the Comelec is pushing applicants to register online through iRehistro.
“We are encouraging everyone to log in to ‘iRehistro’ so they can fill out their registration forms in their respective houses. So that once their respective vicinities have opened up and the MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) status has been lifted in these areas, they can immediately go to the nearest Comelec office,” Martin told lawmakers during the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms hearing on Wednesday, May 12.
“They can register faster when they have no paper forms to fill up. All they have to do is bring these documents (to the Comelec) and have their biometrics taken,” Martin added.
He also said the Comelec main office has given the go-signal to conduct off-site registration in places where there are no COVID-19 cases recorded for the last 14 days.
“This will help in registering more outputs as much as possible so we can reach our target,”he said.
The Comelec is still targeting more than four million registrants to register and vote in the upcoming May 2022 elections.
“We hope that by September 2021, before the deadline of the registration will come, we are able to reach our target. We are very optimistic about it,” Martin said.
However, one of the considerations of the poll body is the need to vaccinate its personnel against the COVID-19.
“Kelangan mabakunahan na po lahat kami, para pwede na kami makapag-offsite (We need to get all of us vaccinated so we can conduct offsite work), but we are doing our campaign online,” he said.