The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has announced that it will be opening satellite registration sites in 166 shopping malls across the country when voters’ registration resumes on Monday, February 12. This initiative, known as the “register anywhere project” (RAP), is being implemented in partnership with the three largest mall operators in the Philippines – SM Supermalls, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, and Robinsons Malls. The aim is to make the registration process more convenient and accessible for voters.
The RAP will be in effect from February 12 to September 30, giving eligible individuals ample time to register. Registration sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, including Saturdays and holidays, unless otherwise declared by the Comelec. This extended schedule ensures that individuals with busy work or personal commitments can find a convenient time to register.
Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia has also announced changes to the acceptable forms of identification for registration purposes. Employee IDs will no longer be considered valid identification. Instead, only government-issued identification cards and barangay IDs with a picture and signature will be accepted. This update aims to streamline the registration process and ensure the accuracy and integrity of the voter database.
To be eligible to register as a voter, an individual must be a Filipino citizen who is at least 18 years old on election day, which is May 12, 2025. They must have been a resident of the Philippines for at least one year and have resided in the place where they intend to vote for at least six months preceding the 2025 elections. Additionally, they must not be disqualified by law. These requirements are in line with the regulations set by the Comelec to maintain the fairness and legitimacy of the electoral process.
Comelec Chairman Garcia expects that the RAP will result in approximately 3 million new voter registrations, bringing the total number of registered voters in the country to 71 million, up from the current 68 million. However, he also issued a warning to voters against attempting double or multiple registrations. The Comelec has the capability to detect such instances, and individuals found guilty of this offense may face imprisonment for one to three years. In 2023, the Comelec uncovered nearly 500,000 cases of double and multiple registrations, highlighting the importance of maintaining the integrity of the voter registration system.
Looking ahead, the Comelec has scheduled two elections in 2025 – the mid-term polls in May and the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in December. These elections play a crucial role in shaping the country’s political landscape and ensuring the representation of the people’s voices.
In conclusion, the Commission on Elections is taking proactive steps to make the voter registration process more accessible and convenient for Filipino citizens. The collaboration with major mall operators and the implementation of the “register anywhere project” will help streamline the registration process and encourage more individuals to participate in the democratic process. It is vital for eligible voters to adhere to the regulations set by the Comelec and avoid any attempts at double or multiple registrations to maintain the integrity of the electoral system. By registering and exercising their right to vote, Filipino citizens can actively contribute to shaping the future of their nation.
Source: The Manila Times