Senators on Monday, Sept. 20 crossed party lines in formally asking the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the deadline for voter registration from September 30, 2021 to October 31, 2021 to prevent voter disenfranchisement brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This came after they filed a Senate Concurrent resolution seeking the extension.
The signatories were Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G, Recto, Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon and Senators Francis Pangilinan, Nancy Binay, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, Imee R. Marcos and Joel Villanueva.
They cited section 8 of Republic Act No. 8189, or the Voter’s Registration Act of 1996, which states that Comelec shall establish a system of continuing registration of voters.
‘’However, no registration shall be conducted during the period starting one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular election and ninety (90) days before a special elections,’’ it added.
The forthcoming national and local elections are scheduled to take place on May 9, 2022.
The Comelec had rescheduled several voters’ registration dates because of fears of COVID-19 infections.
‘’In this connection, Comelec could not have anticipated the adverse impact of the pandemic on voter registration and must make the necessary adjustments to allow more unregistered potential voters to register,’’ the senators pointed out.