MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday announced the resumption of voter registration starting next month.
In Comelec Resolution No. 10674, promulgated on August 12, the resumption of the nationwide voter listing has been set on September 1, except in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or modified ECQ.
It said in areas currently under ECQ or MECQ, voter registration will automatically resume once the quarantine status is either downgraded to general community quarantine (GCQ), modified GCQ or if quarantine is lifted entirely.
Voter registration in areas not currently under quarantine, or which are under MGCQ or GCQ, shall automatically be suspended upon the upgrading of their quarantine status to MECQ or ECQ.
Applications for registration may be submitted from Tuesday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Office of the Election Officer (OEO).
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez urged registrants to download the application from the poll body’s website.
“As the Comelec reopens voter registration, we are encouraging applicants to download the application forms from http://www.comelec.gov.ph,” he said in a statement.
The poll body reminded the public not to sign the downloaded forms, it should be signed in front of an election officer.
“It is strongly recommended that downloaded forms be filled out before going to the Comelec office for registration. But the forms should be signed only in front of the Election Officer, at the Comelec office,” he added.
Jimenez said precautions against the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) will be implemented, such as limiting the number of people to be allowed inside Comelec offices to ensure compliance with physical distancing requirements, requiring applicants to wear face masks and face shields, and encouraging them to bring their own pens.
“Registrants will also be required to fill out a ‘Coronavirus Self-Declaration Form’ which discloses information relating to travel, contact with people with known Covid-19 infection, and symptoms being experienced,” he said.
Persons exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 infection will not be allowed to enter the office and will be advised to seek medical assistance.
The poll body will also provide an express lane for members of vulnerable sectors, including senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and pregnant women.
He said all Comelec offices nationwide will conduct daily disinfection and decontamination of their premises as well as the voter registration machine and peripherals, furniture and equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces, in order to ensure a safe environment at all times.
The nationwide voter registration period started on January 20. It will run until Sept. 30, 2021, in preparation for the May 2022 elections.
However, it was suspended from March 9 to 31 due to the pandemic.
Three days before the March deadline, the poll body extended anew the suspension to April 30 because of the extension of the ECQ in Luzon.
The Comelec again suspended it before the April deadline and extended to until June 30.
It was further extended until August 31. (PNA)