Comelec to decide on need to extend voter registration

Published August 12, 2021, 2:33 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang left it to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) if it deemed it necessary to extend the voter registration period due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Senator Francis Pangilinan urged Comelec to move the voter registration deadline for the 2022 elections to October 31, 2021, as four in 10 registration days in Metro Manila have been lost to lockdowns. The last day of the registration is on September 30, 2021.

In his press briefing on Thursday, August 12, Roque said the decision was in the hands of Comelec.

“Do we agree? Well, we leave it to the Comelec,” he said.

“Ang Comelec naman po ay isa na namang constitutional body at sila po talaga ang may hurisdiksyon para mag-conduct ng mga eleksyon, so nasa kamay po ‘yan ng Comelec (Comelec is a constitutional body and they have the jurisdiction over the conduct of elections. So it’s in their hands),” he added.

According to Roque, the Comelec can make the decision based on the available COVID-19 data.

“Ang Presidente naman (The President) and Comelec chairman and commissioners have the same access to the same information that we all know is happening– meron pong pandemya (there is a pandemic),” he said

This week, the Comelec announced that it would not be extending voter registration beyond September 30, 2021, despite suspensions due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ (MECQ).

Youth organizations coalition First Time Voters Network said that the 395 calendar days for voter registration were not maximized due to quarantine restrictions.

The group urged Comelec to extend registration hours and allow registration during weekends.