COVID-19 casts shadow on Philippines poll registration
MANILA - The COVID-19 pandemic is casting a shadow on the Philippine election process as lack of vaccinated election personnel affects ongoing registration of voters.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said election personnel should also be prioritized in the ongoing vaccination program of the government to help the poll body meet its target of registering 5 million voters for the May 9, 2022 presidential elections.
She said Comelec needs to hold barangay satellite registration as many voters, especially the elderly are afraid to leave their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kailangang pasukin talaga ang barangay. Pagpasok sa barangay hindi ka naman vaccinated, that’s a very high risk sa tao namin,” she said in an interview on TeleRadyo.
She said Comelec is targeting to register 5 million voters until the Sept. 30 deadline.
“Tutal may mga vaccine naman na dumadating, baka naman pwedeng ipasok na lang yung mga Comelec personnel d'yan kahit ‘di naman po lahat kasi 6,500 kami all over the country. ‘Di kakayanin by Sept. 30 pag hindi pa kami vaccinated,” she said.
Among those whom they are targeting to register are the 7 million voters delisted for failing to vote in two consecutive elections. They also want those who just turned 18 years old, about 4 million of them, to register.
The successful plebiscite in Palawan shows that Comelec can manage election during a pandemic.
“Sa Palawan, with the pandemic, 60 percent ang turnout ng tao. Ibig sabihin kaya ng Comelec natin na mag manage ng election during sa pandemic kaya lang kailangan talaga mag rehistro ang tao. Para naman makapasok kami sa mga barangay, vaccinate na rin nyo mga election assistants at election officers namin,” she said.
The Comelec has so far registered over 3.2 million voters, she said.