THE Commission on Elections got praise for allowing the registration of voters in areas under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
Rizal Representative Fidel Nograles said this is a welcome move from the Comelec, especially that there are only a few days left before the voter registration ends.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez announced that the COMELEC en banc approved the conduct of registration from 8 am to 5 pm in MECQ areas. Jimenez also said that in-mall voter registration will likewise be allowed.
“This is a welcome step from the COMELEC as we know the importance of giving our first-time voters, young Filipinos, the right to choose our next leaders. Personally, I believe the youth vote is important in instilling accountability and responsibility among our young people,” Nograles said.
Meanwhile, Nograles suggested that the COMELEC may extend the voter registration from September 30 to October 31.
“We have monitored the campaign of several youth organizations calling for the extension of voter registration. We support their calls as we understand that the registration was not allowed for most of the past year due to quarantine restrictions. The pandemic has already taken a lot from our people. I hope we will not allow it to rob our youth’s right to vote,” he said.
According to the COMELEC, there are already around 61 million registrants eligible to vote in 2022.
Several groups, however, asserted that according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, the projected voting population in 2022 should be at 73.3 million Filipinos.
“We are hoping that the COMELEC will reconsider the extension of voter registration. I’m sure they don’t want to disenfranchise millions of voters from participating in next year’s elections,” Nograles added.