MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it would no longer extend voter registration beyond the deadline on Tuesday as it continued preparations for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls this year.
The poll body expects it will reach its target of up to 1.6 million registered voters for the upcoming local elections, even without moving the Jan. 31 deadline under the Register Anywhere Program (RAP), noted Comelec chairman George Garcia.
“More or less po aabutin na ng 1.5 to 1.6 million ang registrants po natin hanggang ngayong araw na ito. Sobra-sobra na po yun sa atin target at dahil po dyan kaya nga po hindi na kami magpapa-extend ng registration,” Garcia said.
(We will reach more or less 1.5 to 1.6 million registrants today. That is already above our target, so we will no longer extend the registration.)
On the last day of registration, Garcia and local Comelec officials visited the voter registration site at SM Manila.
“Sa ibang areas po sa ating bansa may mga registration site na po na nilalangaw ilang araw na, ibig sabihin siguro nga po nakapagpa-rehistro na yung mga hindi pa nakakapagpa-rehistro, nakapagpa-transfer na yung dapat magpa-transfer kaya hindi na po sila, wala na po masyadong pumupunta sa ilang registration sites natin sa buong bansa,” Garcia noted.
(In other areas, there is low turnout at some registration sites, which perhaps means those who need to register have already registered and those who need to transfer already did.)
He noted that a huge percentage of new registrants are from the youth sector.
“Mas malaki po sa 1.6 million, mas malaki po doon ang mga kabataan halos mahigit po kalahati ay mga kabataan ang nagpapa-rehistro. Nakakatuwa, ibig sabihin, sa panawagan natin na magparehistro yung kabataan ay nakikinig at handang-handa po sa hamon na magpa-rehistro bilang botante,” Garcia said.
(Around half of 1.6 million registrants are from the youth. This means that they listened to our appeal to register and they were ready for the challenges.)
The poll body chair also said that the Comelec is all set for the Barangay and SK elections set on Oct. 30.
"Handa na po kami sa lahat ng kagamitan, ongoing po ang printing ng ating balota. Wala po tayong nakikitang anumang hadlang upang maipagpaliban pa ang ating barangay, SK election sa darating na October 30, 2023,” Garcia said.
(Our equipment is ready, the printing of ballots is ongoing. We do not see any reason to postponed our barangay, SK elections on Oct. 30, 2023.)
Among those who registered were junior high school students Andrew Sahagun and Wina Parugan, who both stressed the need for active participation of the youth in the upcoming polls.
“Para po, kasi po yung isang boto po is malaking halaga na po iyon para sa kanila, pwede pong mabago yung pamamahala sa barangay nila,” Sahagun said.
“Iyong may programs na sakto po sa needs ng barangay and then yung may isang salita po at hindi yung sa campaign lang po siya magaling, gagawin po niya ang mga sinabi niya sa campaign at paninindigan po niya ang pwesto at tiwala na ibinigay po namin sa kanya,” Panugan also said.
(One vote is enough to change the governance in their barangay. We should choose leaders who have programs that fit the needs of the barangay, are true to their words, will fulfill their campaign promises, and value the trust we gave them.)
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