The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said more than one million new voters were registered since the voter registration activity resumed last December, an official of the poll body said.
The Comelec resumed the registration activities last Dec. 12, 2022 and will end on Jan. 31, 2023 in line with the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in October this year.
"Mula nung Dec. 12 hanggang ngayong araw na ito, nakapagparehistro tayo ng 1,100,000 voters— application po iyan (Since Dec. 12 until today, we have registered 1,100,000 voters application)," said Comelec Chairman George Garcia during a radio interview on Sunday, Jan. 22.
Meanwhile, the Comelec has authorized the deployment of additional personnel in different voter registration sites.
"Now, therefore, the Commission on Elections, resolves to... authorize plantilla casual employees hired by the Commission, in areas where additional VRMs (voter registration machines) will be deployed, to receive, process personal information from applicants, and have access to the VRMs during registration period for purposes of voter registration only," the poll body stated in its Resolution No. 10882.
The Comelec said the additional personnel will provide assistance in the ongoing registration activities.
"In a recent assessment conducted by the Commission, it was determined that the insufficiency of VRMs and personnel, who are authorized and capable to operate the VRMs the same largely contributed to the long queues of applicants in the registration venues, especially during the tail end of the registration period," the poll body said.
"In line with the objective to enhance voters' registration experience, it is necessary to augment the existing number of VRMs and personnel allowed to operate the same in areas with influx of registrants as determined by the Commission," it added.
The Comelec said that its Information Technology Department (ITD) has been directed to “provide extensive training” to the “authorized employees/ personnel on the proper handling of information” as well as the “technical aspect of operating the VRM.”
The poll body will also require the employees or personnel “to execute and submit to the election officer, prior to the commencement of duties, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) stating, among others, the duty to duly secure the confidentiality of all personal information of applicants received and processed during the registration period.”
It also directed election officers (EO) “to exercise immediate control and supervision with due diligence over the plantilla casual employees authorized to operate the VRMs during the registration period.”
The EOs also need to “ensure that the said employees perform their duties strictly in accordance with the pertinent laws and rules on voter registration, data privacy, , and the Field Office Systems and Data Policy,” the Comelec said.
The Comelec also directed the Regional Election Directors (REDS), Assistant Regional Election Directors (AREDS), and Provincial Election Supervisors (PESS) to “exercise overall supervision over concerned plantilla casual employees, under the principle of command responsibility, and to ensure the proper implementation” of the guidelines.