House OKs on 2nd reading bill extending voter registration for 2022 polls
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved on second reading the bill seeking to extend the voter registration for the 2022 national elections.
Via voice voting, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 10261 filed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, and Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano.
“For all intents and purposes, registration of new voters would have been an ordinary concern. But we are living under extraordinary circumstances. The public health crisis has been prolonged and many prospective voters have been forced to delay their registration this year and in 2020,” the House leaders said.
Under the measure, the last day of voter registration for the 2022 elections shall be 30 days after the effectivity of the Act.
Currently, the Comelec has set the deadline for voter registration on September 30.
A counterpart bill has been approved on the second reading in the Senate.
Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said that instead of a one-month extension, the polling body is proposing to extend the voter registration period for just one week after filing the certificates of candidacy (COC) from October 1 to 8.
Casquejo reiterated the need to have an earlier deadline to make way for amid the pandemic.
“We have an earlier deadline because of the preparations for pandemic…Majority of our preparations will be affected,” he said.