Voter Registration Resumes: Comelec Introduces Register Anywhere Program

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leads Filipino voters in casting his ballot at a polling precinct in Mariano Marcos Elementary school in Batac, Ilocos Norte during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023. Elsewhere, lines form in voting centers in Manila and Mandaluyong as residents await their turn. Comelec reports that there are over 91 million voters and a total of 672,016 positions up for grabs in the BSKE.
Photos by Rene H. Dilan, Mike Alquinto and Ismael De Juan
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The registration of voters for the elections next year will resume on Monday, February 12, 2024, which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared “Pambansang Araw ng mga Botanteng Pilipino” or National Voters Day. This initiative aims to encourage more Filipinos to participate in the democratic process by exercising their right to vote.

To attract more registrants, the Comelec will implement its register anywhere program nationwide for the first time. This program allows individuals to register in any designated registration center, including 166 malls across the country. By making the registration process more accessible and convenient, the Comelec hopes to increase the number of registered voters.

Chairman George Erwin Garcia will personally lead registration activities in the island municipality of Kalayaan. This choice is symbolic, as it represents the Comelec’s commitment to reaching every corner of the Philippines. Despite being a remote area, Kalayaan is a municipality of the province of Palawan, with its own local officials. It is essential to ensure that even in far-flung areas, the Comelec is present and actively engaged in voter registration.

The Comelec expects to register approximately three million additional new voters, bringing the total number of registered voters to 71 million. This significant increase in voter registration reflects the collective effort to strengthen democracy in the Philippines.

The voter registration period will run until September 30, providing ample time for eligible individuals to register. Registration centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including Saturdays and holidays, to accommodate as many people as possible.

To be eligible for registration, individuals must meet the following criteria: be a Filipino citizen, at least 18 years old by May 12, 2025, and a resident of the Philippines for at least one year. Additionally, applicants should not be otherwise disqualified by law.

Regular registration will take place in Comelec offices located in cities and municipalities. For added convenience, offsite/satellite registration will be available in barangays, malls, educational institutions, and other establishments. This approach aims to reach individuals who may find it challenging to travel to a Comelec office.

By expanding the registration process to various locations, the Comelec aims to ensure that every eligible Filipino has the opportunity to register and exercise their right to vote. Active participation in the electoral process is crucial for a vibrant and inclusive democracy.

As the registration period begins, it is essential for eligible individuals to seize this opportunity and register as voters. By doing so, they contribute to shaping the future of the Philippines and making their voices heard in the democratic process.

Let us all take part in building a stronger and more representative democracy by registering as voters and encouraging others to do the same. Together, we can create a future where every Filipino has a say in the governance of our nation.

Source: The Manila Times

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