MANILA — Ten voters will not be able to cast their votes on May 9 after their registrations were not reactivated due to poor internet connection, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Sunday.
Comelec Chairperson Saidamen Pangarungan said that all 10 voters were from Rizal province.
"Sampu lang po sila. Hindi nakumpleto ang reactivation process," Comelec Commissioner George Garcia told reporters.
(There were 10 of them whose reactivation processes were not completed.)
The new development came to light after an April 8 memorandum from acting Comelec Secretary Consuelo Diola on unprocessed online applications surfaced.
The memo, addressed to Election and Barangay Affairs Department director Divina Blas Ople, said that unprocessed online applications for reactivation will not be included in the regular voters’ database and in the computerized voters' list for election day, despite these applications being filed on time.
Among the reasons cited for the incompletion were lack of internet connection in the poll body's offices.
Other reasons that a registered voter's reactivation application may not be processed include failing to submit all the necessary documents, and failing to appear in the scheduled online verification, either through a video call via Facebook Messenger or Viber.
Rizal Provincial Election supervisor Mitzele Veron Morales Castro said that their election officers have exerted all their effort to contact the applicants online, but "to no avail."
All these unprocessed applications may reapply after the elections, the poll body said.
A Comelec resolution states that election officers with internet connection are authorized to receive and process online applications, in lieu of the applicants' personal appearance.
"Condition po sa [Comelec resolution] 10715 na dapat may internet connection 'yong [office of election officers]," Garcia said.
(Under Comelec resolution 10175, offices of election officers must have internet connection.)
“Kaya po may pending bill strengthening the field offices, most of them are not working under ideal situation, madalas kapag pangit po office walang internet connection, although the Commission provides, may mga napuputulan din po for whatever reason or sadyang walang internet ang area.” Garcia added.
(That is why there is a pending bill strengthening the field offices, as most of them are not working under ideal situation. Although the Commission provides, an underfunded office may have no internet connection.)