MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday insisted voter registration is only until Sept. 30, despite calls to lengthen the period following successive lockdowns and other COVID-19 restrictions, unless a law is enacted to extend the deadline.
During a joint congressional oversight panel hearing, Comelec commissioner Marlon Casquejo said the en banc already rejected the idea twice.
"As what we have said, en banc already ruled twice not to extend," he told lawmakers.
Casquejo said Comelec will comply if bills pending before Congress mandating them to extend voter registration until Oct. 31 will be passed into law.
"We are also aware of the pending bills... mandating Comelec to extend registration until Oct. 31. If that bill will be passed as a law, we will comply," Casquejo said.
Casquejo also floated the idea of opening voter registration for one more week after the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) from Oct. 1 to 8.
"Our proposal is to give one week extension after the filing of the COC," he said.
However, lawmakers said this is a far cry from their request of a one-month extension.
"Ang layo ng 1 week sa 1 month na hinihingi ng legislature. Sa dinami dami ng nakapila... Ang layo, hindi siya compromise," Sen. Imee Marcos told Casquenjo.
The poll commissioner argued that a longer extension would cause delay in other 2022 election preparations.