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CHR urges public to register for 2022 polls using Comelec's new methods

CHR urges public to register for 2022 polls using Comelec's new methods

MANILA, Philippines — The public should register for the 2022 national elections and make use of the new measures initiated by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) like the mobile voters’ registration app, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said.

In a statement, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said that eligible Filipinos must sign up with the Comelec to ensure that they are able to vote in 2022, and that the results would show the will of the people.

“With voter registration currently underway, we ask eligible Filipino citizens who are 18 years of age and above on the day of elections to take part in democracy,” De Guia said on Thursday.

“#MagparehistroKa! Remember that elections are won by those who show up,” she added.

CHR also praised the efforts being done by Comelec to achieve a high voter registration for the 2022 polls, ensuring that the next elections would reflect the people’s mandate.

Last Monday, Comelec Commissioner Marlon Cascuejo said that the commission launched an application which would allow people register using their mobile phones, increasing possible voters while making the whole process more accessible.

The program was launched in Tagum, Davao Del Norte, on Tuesday.

According to CHR, this is important as the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted travel and placed restrictions on gathering — measures instituted to avoid contractions.

“The right of suffrage is a political right conferred by the Constitution to every Filipino citizen enabling them to take part in the process of governance to ensure that government representation remains democratic, representative of the will of the people. The circumstances however presented by the pandemic has led to the slowdown of voter registration as more voters shun outside travel,” De Guia said.

“[Comelec], however, despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic has beat the odds by reporting that there are now 59 million registered voters for the 2022 local and national elections. Comelec efforts to reach out to unregistered voters are commendable and worthy of praise,” she added.

CHR also noted that Comelec has already shown that an elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic is possible, as the plebiscite in Palawan last March went successfully.

“In the past, Comelec has extended registration hours to accommodate voters and has successfully held a plebiscite in Palawan last year that yielded a 60 percent voter turnout,” De Guia said.

“The recent announcement of the new mobile registration form app is a timely intervention that will undoubtedly help the Comelec close its goal of registering 60 million voters for the 2022 polls. The past success of the 2020 Palawan Plebiscite is a good example of how elections can be held despite the circumstances,” she added.

With the pandemic still raging across the country, any elections in the country would have to observe health restrictions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  However, vaccinations have given the government hope that near-normal situations would resume before the year ends.

As of Thursday, the country had registered 1,339,457 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 58,407 are active COVID-19 infections.

   

JPV