The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said an extension of voter registration will depend on the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) on a petition questioning the postponement of the 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. (BSKE)
Meanwhile, the Comelec identified five malls in Metro Manila to be used in the “register anywhere” scheme set on December 17, 2022 to January 25, 2023.
The voter registration is set to start on Dec. 12 and will run until Jan. 31, 2023.
Comelec spokesman John Rex Laaudiangco cited the petition filed by election lawyer Romulo Macalintal asking the Supreme Court to order the conduct of the BSKE in May next year.
“The extension of registration will be based on the decision of the Supreme Court in the Macalintal vs. Comelec, where the constitutionality of Republic Act 11935 is in question. If the SC decides that the election will go beyond May 2023, there is a high possibility that we will be able to extend the registration,” Laudiangco said in the weekly Laging Handa briefing.
In his petition, Macalintal asked the SC to order Comelec to hold the BSKE polls in May next year, citing a pronouncement made earlier by the poll body that it is prepared to hold the BSKE in May 2022.
Laudiangco noted in case the decision favors Macalintal’s petition, they are prohibited to hold registration months before the scheduled polls
.“But if the election is earlier than October 2023, we may miss out because there is a ban on registering 120 days before elections. Voter registration is only temporary until January 31. This is based on the future decision of the Supreme Court. It can be as long as that, it can be extended,” Laudiangco explained.
Republic Act (RA) 11935, signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Oct. 10, postponed the Dec. 5, 022 BSKE to the last Monday of October 2023.
Laudiangco urged affected voters to register early to be able to participate in electoral exercises in the country.
“So we ask (the public) that as early as possible, to register. Bring an identification card, fill up a form on the website, get the biometrics taken. Register early to ensure that they will be able in the upcoming polls, including BSKE,” he said.
Laudiangco identified the five establishments to be used for the register anywhere project as the Mall of Asia, SM Fairview, SM South Mall, Robinsons Galleria, and Robinsons Place Manila.
“Nagkataon pong hindi kayo nakatira sa Metro Manila at gusto niyo pa
rin bumoto doon sa munisipyo ninyo, halimbawa Tuguegarao o taga-Cavite, nagkataon nandito kayo, puwede po kayo pumunta sa register anywhere booth,” Laudiangco said.
Laudiangco said the thumbprints and other biometrics will be taken at the booth and sent by the Comelec to the municipality of the voter “This is good for our students and for those working in Metro Manila,
who doesn’t have a chance to go home to their provinces.” Laudiangco said.l “For the departing OFWs and our seafarers, the door of the Comelec is open for them to be able to register.” Laudiangco also said individuals who wish to reactivate their voter ID do not need to visit Comelec offices, adding that the form can be downloaded at the Comelec website and sent to the Comelec election officer. Concerns regarding the voter registration record may be sent to email@example.com
“The email address is at the website of Comelec and they will give you a schedule for a video conferencing so you can swear online,” he said.