MANILA, Philippines – A general re-registration of all voters in the five provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will be difficult but feasible, said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes on Wednesday.
Speaking to ANC’s “On The Scene,” Brillantes said the only problem he sees is the timeline requirement set by President Benigno Aquino III.
The Aquino administration wants Comelec to scrap the existing voters lists in ARMM, which has been known for wholesale poll fraud and bloated voters' list.
The general registration must be completed by the end of the year so the Comelec can start with the printing of ballots in January 2013.
About P400 million will be set aside for the cleansing of the ARMM's voters' list, according to Budget Secretary Butch Abad.
Brillantes said the budget allotted is “more than enough.”
“[The President] said there will be no problem with funding. I said, ‘OK, if there is no problem on the funding then we will just have to concentrate on the timeline,’” Brillantes said.
Brillantes noted that preparing for the registration of more than 1.5 million voters in the five provinces of ARMM may take about nine months, which means it may not make the December 2012 deadline.
“We have to mobilize, augment people in the ARMM in preparation for the registration,” he said. “We also have to buy additional biometric machines.”
Brillantes also said the Comelec en banc is studying the timetable of the voter re-registration.
Comelec is banking on automated polls to ensure that the 2013 mid-term elections will be fraud-free.
Comelec also plans to cut down the number of voters in each precinct.