Comelec suspends voter registration in disaster-hit areas

The scheduled resumption of voter registration for the May 2022 elections on January 20 is postponed in areas hit by recent disasters, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday.

In a press briefing, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said there will be no voter registration in several areas in North Cotabato, Cavite and Batangas.

First in Region 12 in Makilala, North Cotabato, by reason of the earthquake that happened last December 15. Facilities have been damaged or wrecked because of the earthquake so we cannot reasonably provide registration services at this time, Jimenez said.

He said the Comelec also suspended voter registration in areas affected by the restive Taal Volcano.

In Region 4-A (Calabarzon) in Batangas there are areas covered under the 14-kilometer danger zone namely: Agoncillo, Alitagtag, Balete, Laurel, Lemery, Mataas na Kahoy, San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Taal and Talisay, he added.

Registration in localities outside the danger zone but affected by ashfall/earthquakes are also suspended in Balayan, Calaca, Calatagan, Cuenca, Lian, Lipa, Mabini, San Luis and Tuy in Batangas, and Tagaytay, Alfonso, Amadeo, Indang, and Silang in Cavite.

Jimenez added that resumption of the registration will depend on prevailing conditions in these areas.

The resumption will be based on the ability of these places to recover, to return to normalcy. We expect, in some places, recovery will proceed faster than in others so resumption will come sooner rather than in others, he said.

Meanwhile, voter registration in Palawan, except for Puerto Princesa City, is also suspended due to a forthcoming plebiscite.

We will resume registration on January 20 except for the 23 municipalities of Palawan because there is a plebiscite on May 11, 2020, he said.

On May 11, a plebiscite will be held for the ratification of Republic Act 11259 which divides Palawan into three separate provinces -- Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental and Palawan del Sur.

The voter registration in other areas will run until Sept. 30, 2021.

This gives us an approximately 20-month registration period which is a relatively long time for us to get registered... Jimenez added.

Applications for registration, transfer of registration records, change/correction of entries in the registration record, reactivation of registration record, and reinstatement of name in the list of voters will be accepted during the period.

Persons with disabilities, senior citizens as well as members of indigenous peoples or indigenous cultural communities and other members of vulnerable sectors may also update their records.

Applications and updating of records should be done personally at the Office of the Election Officer of the city or municipality where the applicant resides, Mondays to Saturdays including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

No registration will be accepted on April 9 and 10, 2020 (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday), Dec. 25, 2020 (Christmas Day), and April 1 and 2, 2021 (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday).

Registrants must be at least 18 years of age on or before Election Day, or on May 9, 2022.

He/she must be a resident in the Philippines for at least 1 year and in the place where the applicant intends to vote for at least six months on or before Election Day.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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