MANILA, Philippines– As the election registration deadline looms, the Senate adopted a resolution on Tuesday to extend the deadline.
The resolution urges the Commission of Elections (Comelec) to move the deadline of voter registration until the end of October. To date, the registration period is set to wrap up by September 30.
Senators adopted the resolution after Senator Francis Pangilinan delivered a privilege speech. The seasoned senator mentioned the long queues, as aspiring registrants flocked the Comelec offices on September 6 when voter registration resumed on September 6.
“The September 30 deadline was set before the pandemic. It is a pre-pandemic deadline. Nobody could have anticipated how this public health emergency would severely impact our daily lives, let alone voter registration.”Senator Francis Pangilinan
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA, the senator mentioned that there are about 12.24 million Filipinos who have yet to register. Comelec’s estimated voting population for the 2022 national elections sits at around 73.3 million. As of August 24, data from the polling body states that there are 61.06 millions registered voters.
Senator Pangilinan also noted several factors that hinder Filipinos from registering. These factors include lack of slots, fear of contracting Covid-19, and losing their appointments due to lack to time. The senator also reiterated that since 2001, the registration deadlines were always set on or beyond October 31.
Senate electoral committee chairperson Imee Marcos, as well as Senators Hontiveros and Zubiri manifested their support on the adoption of SR 851. The senators reiterated the resolution in order to prevent the disenfranchisement of millions of voters.