MANILA, Philippines – With the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections officially postponed to 2017, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has moved to reopen the registration of qualified voters nationwide.
The Comelec will resume voters’ registration on Monday, November 7, for the village and youth council polls next year.
The registration period will last until April 29, 2017, according to Comelec Resolution No. 10166.
Local Comelec offices will be open Mondays to Saturdays, including holidays, except on the following dates: December 24 and 25, 2016; and April 13 and 14, 2017.
The fresh round of voters’ registration was laid out after President Rodrigo Duterte approved Republic Act 10923, postponing the barangay and SK elections to October 23, 2017. The polls were originally set for October 31, 2016, more than 5 months after the May 2016 national and local elections.
“We will have a longer registration period to ensure wider voters’ participation. We are expecting more than 55 million voters for next year’s elections, with the inclusion of SK voters aged 15-17 years old,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement on Tuesday, October 25.
“We can now formally begin our preparations for the 2017 elections now that the bill on the postponement of the 2016 elections has been signed into law,” he added.
The Comelec estimates there would be over one million more voters in the 2017 barangay and SK polls than in the 2016 national elections. A total of 3,095,187 already signed up during the most recent registration period last July.
The poll body had planned to reopen voters’ registration on October 3, but the law postponing the barangay and SK elections was not yet signed at the time. – Rappler.com