First-time voter registrants in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite can submit their application forms to local offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) beginning Monday, May 17, after the area collectively known as “NCR Plus” shifts to more relaxed quarantine restrictions on Saturday, May 15.
In a statement, the poll body reminded residents in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) that they can file applications at the Offices of the Election Officer (OEO) from Mondays to Fridays, or in satellite registration sites on Saturdays, from 8 am to 5 pm.
“The public is reminded to inquire directly with their local Comelec office about the schedule of satellite registration specific to their area, as schedules may vary per locality,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said on Friday, May 14.
He also asked the public to keep in mind that the OEOs “will be closed on the disinfection day prescribed by their local government.”
Voter registration has been suspended in “NCR Plus” since March 29, when the area was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest form of lockdown under the Duterte administration, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
While the region shifted to a slightly more relaxed modified ECQ (MECQ) on April 14, operations of Comelec offices in the area remained suspended.
Despite voter registration being halted in the region for nearly two months, Jimenez said in a Rappler Talk episode that aired on May 10 that an extension of the September 30 deadline of voter registration is not in the cards.
The number of new voter applicants as of May 6 is around 2.8 million — about 1.6 million of them classified as first-time registrants, according to Jimenez. Rappler’s tracker is at 1.57 million as of April 15.
As of April 19, there were 58.9 million voters registered to participate in the 2022 elections, the first to be conducted against the backdrop of a pandemic. – Rappler.com