Comelec suspends capturing of biometrics

Paterno Esmaquel II
The Comelec wants to prioritize the voters' registration for the barangay and SK elections

MANILA, Philippines – To prioritize the voters’ registration for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decided to suspend the capturing of biometrics starting Friday, July 12.

In a resolution promulgated Wednesday, July 10, the Comelec said the capturing of biometrics – which is part of the process called validation – is suspended “until further ordered to resume by the commission en banc.”

The Comelec earlier opened its offices for capturing biometrics starting July 1. The law requires voters to have their biometrics taken for the 2016 elections.

Up to 9 million voters, who still haven’t had their biometrics taken, could lose their chance to vote in the 2016 presidential race.

In Resolution No. 9741, the Comelec said it suspended the validation of registration records “to maximize the workforce of the Offices of the Election Officers nationwide” for the registration of voters for the barangay and SK elections.

The Comelec has scheduled the registration, or transfer of registration, for the barangay elections from July 22 to July 31.

The barangay and SK elections will happen on October 28. The Comelec expects up to 740,000 voters to register for the barangay elections and around two million for the SK elections.

Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr, however, has proposed the postponement of the barangay and SK elections. President Benigno Aquino III, who is hesitant about this move, said he wants a “very good reason” to heed the Comelec recommendation. – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.