MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday, June 30, extended the suspension of voter registration until August 31, owing to the recent increase in coronavirus cases in the Philippines.
Comelec Spokesperon James Jimenez made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday morning, the day before voter registration was supposed to resume on July 1.
“The suspension was previously set only until June 30 but was extended for two more months in view of the still rising number of COVID-19 cases nationwide,” Jimenez said.
The Philippines has so far reported 36,438 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 1,255 deaths and 9,956 recoveries as of Monday, June 29. The latest case count continued the increasing number of cases seen in the last few weeks since the loosening of quarantine restrictions throughout the country.
The pandemic has forced the Comelec to suspend voter registration for the 2022 elections for a fourth time. The registration process usually sees crowds of people clustering around poll offices, making physical distancing difficult to implement.
The poll body first suspended voter registration on March 9, extended the suspension until March 31, to April 30, and to June 30.
In the meantime, Jimenez said Comelec personnel will continue to undertake preparations to make poll offices nationwide “COVID-19 ready.”
The current round of voter registration started in January 20 and was scheduled to run until September 30, 2021. – Rappler.com
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