Voter registration applications reach 1.5M mark - Garcia

The Commission on Elections has reached its projection of 1.5 million applicants nearly a week before the voter registration ends on Jan. 31.

Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia talks during a press conference at their office in Intramuros, Manila on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2023. (Ali Vicoy)

In the data provided by Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia on Monday night, Jan. 23, the poll body has received 1,537,872 in all of its registration sites, including the Register Anywhere Program (RAP).

Garcia mentioned that they are hoping to get 1.5 million to 2 million registrants in the whole voting period from Dec. 12 to Jan. 31. Of this, 930,876 applied for new registration.

Garcia stressed on Monday, that the poll body will be sticking to the deadline it has set for voter registration which is Jan. 31, and told the public not to expect an extension.

Garcia stated that the RAP is still available for eligible applicants. Under it, applicants may proceed to the RAP booths nearest to them to submit the required documents, have their oaths administered, and have their biometrics data captured right then and there, even if they reside in another city or municipality.

Transactions accepted in the ongoing program are the registration of new voters for both the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) and the regular elections, updating and correction of record entries, reactivation, and transfer of registration.

He also explained that given the current circumstances, they cannot think of any reason for an extension of the deadline since they have fully informed the people regarding the registration. Garcia mentioned that they only suspended voter registration in some areas due to flooding and they can grant an extension given that scenario.

Yet under ordinary circumstances, the poll chief stated that it is really not a good idea to always extend if there is a deadline, so they will be sticking to the Jan. 31 deadline.

"There should be no more excuses for people not to register," Garcia stated.