An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said voter registration is necessary and cannot be made automatic for those turning 18 years old.
“Registration is necessary to determine a person’s eligibility to vote in local elections,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement Wednesday, Oct. 13.
“So there would still be a need for an 18y/o to inform the Comelec of his residence information, and thus sign up to vote in that locality,” he added.
“Things would be different if we had a centralized residence registry – but we don’t,” Jimenez said.
On Monday, presidential aspirant and labor leader Leody de Guzman said it should be automatic that upon reaching 18 years of age, you become a voter.
The Voter’s Registration Act of 1996 states that all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law; are at least 18 years old; has resided in the Philippines for at least one year; and has resided in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election may register as a voter.
It added that any person, who, on the day of registration may not have reached the required age or period of residence but shall possess such qualifications come Election Day, may register as a voter.