MANILA - The COVID-19 pandemic is hampering the Commission on Elections' voter registration drive as some 3 million eligible Filipinos remain unregistered ahead of the 2022 national elections, Comelec said Monday.
Only around 1.17 million new voters have registered so far out of the estimated 4 million unregistered voters, said Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon who has proposed the extension of registration hours which currently ends at 3 p.m.
"May mungkahi po ako sa Commission en banc itong Wednesday na i-extend na 'yang registration hours na 'yan. Mag-o-overtime na po kami, kulang na po kami sa panahon, 12 months na lang para ma-reach 'yung 3 million target na 'yan. Maliban pa po 'yan sa overseas voting," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(I've proposed to the Comelec en banc to extend the registration hours. We will go on overtime because we lack time to reach the 3 million target, which is besides the overseas voting.)
"Sa NCR nga ang baba eh kasi nga ang contamination incidence d'yan mas mataas. Mas maganda pa nga sa provinces...mas maraming nakakarehistro kasi nagzi-zero local contamination sila."
(In NCR, the registration is lower because the COVID-19 contamination incidence is higher. It's better in the provinces...more register because they have zero local contamination.)
The construction of barangay registration satellites might encourage new voters to register as it will be closer to their homes, Guanzon said.
"Aabot po kami kahit 2 months before election, nagreregistration pa yan. Ang hinihintay lang po ang decision ng Commission en banc kung kailan po tayo pwede magregistration sa barangay," she said.
(We will still hold registration even 2 months before the election. We're just awaiting the decision of the Commission en banc when we can open registration in barangays.)