Hontiveros to COMELEC: Extend voter registration period in areas under ECQ

Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to extend the voter registration period, at least in areas affected by the 15-day enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

There is no word yet if the current deadline, September 30, 2021, will be moved.

“Sayang ‘yung period from August 6 to 20. Especially for some of our first time voters, yung iba sa kanila are not even eligible for vaccination. It is only logical to extend the voter registration period by at least two more weeks. It’s two more weeks that may prove critical for our country’s future,” she said.

In May 2021,  COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez expressed concern about moving targets, adding it was not likely to extend the voter registration period because there are other things to prepare aside from the official voter’s list.

However, the senator says the challenges brought on by the pandemic must be considered as “extraordinary circumstances”. Hontiversos also pointed out that the voter registration process was already stalled several times due to fears over the pandemic.

“I agree that deadlines should be observed. But, hopefully, in this case, COMELEC can make one last necessary extension. Huwag naman sanang i-quarantine pati ang karapatan ng mga tao na bumoto,” she stressed.

Last year, Hontiveros called for an increase in the COMELEC’s budget to prepare for the 2022 elections in light of the major health adjustments due to COVID-19.

“COVID-19’s Delta variant has already disrupted our communities. Let it not get in the way of our citizens’ desire to participate in the May 2022 elections,” she concluded. (Press Release)

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