“Voter Registration Surpasses 2.5 Million Applicants for 2025 Midterm Elections”

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The Ongoing Voter Registration Surpasses 2.5 Million

The voter registration process for the 2025 midterm elections in the Philippines has been making significant progress. As of May 2, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has processed over 2.5 million applications, just a little more than 400,000 short of the target of 3 million new voters. COMELEC Chairman George Erwin Garcia expressed confidence that the target will be surpassed, considering there are still more than four months left before the registration period ends on September 30.

Reaching Out to Remote Areas and Ensuring Equal Opportunity

To ensure inclusivity and equal opportunity, the COMELEC has been actively reaching out to even the most remote areas. Chairman Garcia emphasized that the COMELEC is not selective in its registration drive, as every citizen has the right to vote and an equal opportunity to register. This commitment to inclusivity is particularly important for first-time voters, especially the youth, who will be participating in the 2025 midterm polls. Additionally, the COMELEC has made efforts to facilitate registration for those who wish to reactivate their registration or transfer their voting places.

Success Factors: Information Dissemination and Proactive Measures

The success of the voter registration process can be attributed to the COMELEC’s massive information dissemination campaign and other proactive measures. The COMELEC spokesman, John Rex Laudiangco, highlighted the importance of these efforts in making it easier for the public to register. This is especially true for the youth who will be voting for the first time, as well as those who need to update their registration details.

Registration Process and Locations

The registration process began on February 12 and will continue until September 30, with the exception of the Register Anywhere Program (RAP), which will end on August 31. The RAP allows registration in designated centers such as shopping malls nationwide. Regular registration is being conducted in local COMELEC offices, while satellite or off-site registration is available in barangays, educational institutions, government offices, and other establishments.

Regional Breakdown of Registrants

Based on COMELEC data as of May 2, the regions with the highest number of registrants are as follows:
– Calabarzon (Region IV-A): 466,768
– National Capital Region: 378,553
– Central Luzon (Region III): 295,635
– Central Visayas (Region VII): 181,283
– Davao Region (Region XI): 140,548

Review and Approval Process

It’s important to note that filling out the registration forms does not automatically guarantee registration. The City or Municipal Election Registration Board (ERB) is responsible for reviewing and approving the applications. After the registration period, the ERB conducts a hearing to cleanse the list of registered voters. This includes reviewing each application, removing multiple registrants, and updating the list to exclude deceased individuals.

Who Can Register as a Voter?

To be eligible for voter registration, an individual must meet the following criteria:
– Be a Filipino citizen
– Be at least 18 years old on the day of the election (May 12, 2025)
– Have been a resident of the Philippines for at least one year
– Have resided in the place where they intend to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the 2025 elections
– Not be disqualified by law

Additionally, students who are currently 17 years old but will turn 18 on or before the May 12, 2025 elections can register using their student IDs. It’s important to note that employee IDs are no longer accepted as valid identification for registration purposes.

Ensuring a Transparent and Inclusive Process

In February 2025, three months before the elections, the ERB will conduct a thorough review of the voters’ lists. This process includes a comprehensive review of each application, the removal of multiple registrants, and the verification of deceased individuals on the list. To ensure transparency, representatives from political parties, candidates, stakeholders, and interest groups are present during the review of the voters’ list.

The ongoing voter registration in the Philippines is a crucial step towards ensuring a fair and democratic electoral process. The COMELEC’s efforts to reach out to remote areas and facilitate registration for all citizens, particularly the youth, demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and equal opportunity. With the registration period still ongoing, it is expected that the target of 3 million new voters for the 2025 midterm elections will be achieved and surpassed.

Source: The Manila Times

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