Cagayan De Oro City

Low turnout of Cagayan de Oro voter-applicants worries Comelec

Cong Corrales
Low turnout of Cagayan de Oro voter-applicants worries Comelec

LOW TURNOUT. A handful of voter-applicants flock to the registration area of the Commission on Elections in Cagayan de Oro City on December 16.

Cong Corrales / Rappler

At the rate things are moving, it's either the Comelec in Cagayan de Oro would fall short of its estimated 19,000 target population or its workers would end up getting overwhelmed by applicants on the last day of registration

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Cagayan de Oro expressed worry about the low turnout of people registering as new voters in Northern Mindanao’s capital city.

At the rate things are moving, it’s either the Comelec office in Cagayan de Oro would fall short of its estimated 19,000 target population or its workers would end up getting overwhelmed by applicants rushing to beat the deadline on the last day of registration.

Cagayan de Oro elections officer Ramil Acol raised concerns as he noted that only an average of 100 people had been registering daily in the city ahead of the 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections since the registration period started on December 12.

“We really have been seeing a low turnout since we started the registration. If they register at the eleventh hour, sorry, but we may not be able to process all of them [in one day],” said Acol.

Only 221 of the city’s population of about 1 million people registered as new voters on December 12. The following day, 127 people came to register, and from December 14 to 15, the Comelec processed and logged only 313 new voters in Cagayan de Oro.

With an anticipated 19,000 new voters, the Comelec in the city needs to register at least 450 people a day during a 42-day period until January 2023.

“I urge the new voters to register before the year ends. Let’s not wait for the last day,” Acol said.

To register more new voters, the Comelec in Cagayan de Oro started setting up and opening satellite registration booths in several upland barangays and malls in the city.

It also scheduled onsite registrations in several places on the following dates:

  • December 19, Barangay Mambuaya
  • December 20, Barangay Bayanga
  • December 21, Barangay Bugo
  • December 23, barangays Pigsag-an and Tumpagon
  • December 27, Barangay Lumbia
  • December 28, Barangay Tuburan
  • January 2, 2023, Barangay Taglimao
  • January 3, 2023, Barangay Tagpangi
  • January 4, 2023, Barangay Besigan
  • January 14, 2023, Barangay FS Catanico

Between December 22 and January 5, the local Comelec office will hold registrations at SM-Downtown Premier mall and SM-Uptown in Cagayan de Oro.

Acol said the satellite registration booths would only be for new voters and those who would want to transfer from outside the city.

Voters who want to transfer to other Cagayan de Oro barangays or who want to have their data entries corrected need to go to the city office of the Comelec on Burgos Street, Acol said.

He also reminded those who will register for the SK elections that they should be at least 15 years old on or before October 30, 2023.

Comelec officials in the city, however, said the registration could be extended if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the petition of lawyer Romulo Macalintal, who questioned the validity of the postponement of the barangay and SK elections. – Rappler.com

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