BAGUIO CITY – The commission on Elections (Comelec) will be resuming the registration of voters and the taking of biometrics of individuals who were able to beat the prescribed deadline so that they can actively participate in the upcoming October barangay elections.
Lawyer Vanessa Roncal, COMEC-CAR assistant regional director, said that qualified voters who were not able to register for the May 9, 2016 general and automated elections and those who were not able to have their biometrics taken by the poll body should take advantage of the expected resumption of registration so that they will be able to vote in the October barangay elections to avoid being dis-enfranchised.
“We will be resuming the registration of voters and the taking of their biometrics next month bit it will be on a limited period considering that they will be busy for the preparations for the scheduled barangay elections, thus, voters must take advantage of the time for them to be registered,” Roncal stressed.
It was learned that qualified voters who did not have their biometrics taken during the more than one year and eight months registration period prior to the May 9, 2016 elections still went to their designated voting places to attempt to cast their votes but they were disappointed to learn that their names were not included in the voters list because of their failure to have their biometrics taken during the registration period.
Roncal cited that the experience of voters who did not have their biometrics taken should be a lesson learned for them, thus, they must immediately avail of the expected opening of registration to have their biometrics taken for them to be able to participate in the upcoming barangay elections this October.
It can be recalled that there are close to 65,000 voters regionwide who did not have their biometrics taken that is why they were not able to cast their votes for their chosen candidates during the recent national and local elections.
According to her, qualified voters must value the importance of participating in the elections so that their votes will be counted in favour of their chosen candidates, thus, the need for them to make a little sacrifice to avail of the registration period to be provided for such purposes and that they must go to the nearest Comelec offices as early as possible so as not to be caught in long lines during the last days of the registration period.
The last registration period for the May 9, 2016 elections was on May 6, 2014 up to October 31, 2015 that allowed millions of voters nationwide to have their biometrics taken that allowed them to actively participate in the recently concluded elections.
Roncal cited the registration that will be provided by the poll body for the October barangay elections might be limited that is why qualified voters must go to the nearest election offices as soon as the poll body shall have opened the registration so that they will not be disenfranchised for the second time around./Dexter A. See