MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said it is already preparing the rollout of its new voter's registration by the end of next month, even as it is also anticipating the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections this year.
Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said they would pilot test their "register anywhere" system in Metro Manila once the technological infrastructures are ready.
The poll body, he said, is are also waiting for President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s action on the proposed postponement of the baranggay and SK elections slated in December so they could focus on the voter's registration again.
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By Comelec's estimate, he said, they could resume the voter's registration by the last week of November should the postponement push through.
"Napakahalaga po nito kasi sa tingin po namin, isa sa dahilan kung bakit hindi namin nama-maximize iyong number ng potential registrants," said Laudiangco in a public briefing.
"Mas ilalapit namin ang proseso ng rehistro, mas convenient, nasa mall, kahit saan. At kapag iyon ay naisagawa namin, siguro wala na pong dahilan ang ating mga kababayan na hindi pa magparehistro at sumali sa registration at makaboto sa halalan," he added.
HOW DOES THE NEW SYSTEM WORK?
The Comelec spokesperson said there would be a voter's registration booth in an area exclusive for residents there. There would also be another voter's registration system dedicated for non-residents.
The registrant's name will still be posted in their municipality.
"Ang gagawin lang... doon ka magpipirma, doon kukunin iyong thumbprint, doon kukunin ang picture mo, doon ka sa officer namin na iyon manunumpa," he said.
"Nag-apply ka sa ibang lugar pero lahat ng proseso na gagawin ay doon mismo sa tanggapan namin kung saan ka nakatira. Walang abala at karagdagan pa po nito ay napaka-convenient," he added.
Previously, by law, a potential voter can only register in the Comelec office or satellite office assigned based on their residence.
This was difficult, the Comelec official said, because some people are working in a city or municipality far from their official residence.
"Nababawasan iyong pagkakataon at masyadong abala sa kanila na mag-a-absent pa sa trabaho para lang makarehistro," Laudiangco said.
As of July 23, the poll body said there were 2,936,979 newly registered voters in the country when it kickstarted its registration earlier that month.
The new registrants are expected to be included in the 65.75 million Filipinos already registered to vote.