MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) expects to hit the target of additional 350,000 to 500,000 new voters with the extension of the deadline for voter registration to October 30.
To date, the country has registered 63.6 million Filipinos to qualify to vote in the coming elections. Around 6.1 million of whom are newly registered voters and 700,000 are reactivated voters, based on Comelec data from August 2019 to September 2021.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon hopes to have more registration areas activated to reduce long lines in existing Comelec sites.
He also urged those who have yet to register not to wait for the last minute to do so.
Meanwhile, several senators support Comelec’s request to have the amount that was removed from their proposed budget be reverted.
Comelec said this will give more leeway for them to ensure safe elections in 2022 amid the continuing threats of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The budget recommended by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the commission to use in 2022 is only Php26.7-billion from their original request of Php42-billion, which senators find too small.
“The Comelec budget is simply too small to COVID-proof the election. And if we say it is a high cost to bear, the price of a failed presidential election in these difficult times will be even more costly to the nation,” said Senator Imee Marcos.
Comelec said that reverting the fund to their original request will also ensure that teachers will be able to receive higher honoraria in rendering services during the elections.
Meanwhile, Comelec is set to conduct simulation activities for the 2022 elections on October 23. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)