MANILA - The Senate on Monday approved on final reading a bill seeking to extend the voter registration deadline until Oct. 31, instead of Sept. 30, amid public clamor.
All senators voted in favor of Senate Bill 2408 despite earlier rejection by officials of the Commission of Election (Comelec) to move further the voter registration deadline.
In the House of Representatives, a similar measure was also approved on second reading on the same day.
Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri, one of the bill's principal authors, emphasized the enactment of the bill is important for next year's elections. Around 12 million potential voters have not registered since they are living in areas under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he explained.
Sen. Sonny Angara, meanwhile, said he had a talk earlier with Comelec Commissioner Sheriff Abas, who said the commission may struggle with its other activities if the voter registration is extended for another month.
Filing of certificates of candidacy will be held in October, while substitution of candidates will be until November.
Angara said the appeal of Comelec can be considered during the bill's deliberation by the bicameral conference committee.
— Report from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News