THE election offices in Cebu Province and the cities of Cebu and Mandaue will hold voter’s registration activities starting July in preparation for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) scheduled on Dec. 5, 2022.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu City has confirmed that voter registration for the BSKE will be from July 4 to July 23.

Marilou Paredes, acting election officer of Cebu City South District, said they are now preparing the registration forms and conducting planning for satellite registrations for the BSKE.

Comelec Resolution 10798 states that a Filipino citizen of at least 18 years of age on or before Dec. 5, 2022 may register for the BSKE.

The person must also be a resident of the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where he or she proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the barangay elections.

The resolution also states that a Filipino citizen of “at least 15 but not more than 30 years of age and residing in the barangay for at least six months on or before Dec. 5, 2022,” may register as an SK voter.

To register, the applicant should personally appear before the election officer and present any identification document that bear the person’s photograph and signature.

These include the National ID, employee’s ID, postal ID, student’s ID, NBI clearance, passport, and barangay certification with photo.

In the absence of any document that will prove the applicant’s identity, the Comelec resolution states that “the applicant may be identified under oath by any registered voter of the precinct where he/she intends to be registered.

The Comelec also allows the relatives of the applicants to vouch for their identity provided that no registered voter or relative shall be allowed to identify more than three applicants.

Preparations

Meanwhile, Mandaue City election officer Sarah Reuyan said the two-week registration period which will end on July 23 will allow them more time to prepare for the BSKE despite it’s possible postponement.

Davao Oriental 2nd District Rep. Joel Mayo Almario filed House Bill 10425, seeking to postpone the BSKE to May 6, 2024, last November 2021. He cited the Covid pandemic as his primary reason for seeking the postponement.

Reuyan said Mandaue’s voters’ registration will be at the Comelec office from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an expected cut-off time of 4:30 p.m. depending on the volume of people left.

She said Mandaue voter applicants must bring one valid ID or a copy of their birth certificate.

Mandaue City had about 234,581 registered voters in the last May 9 local and national elections.

Reuyan said they are expecting more teenagers and young adults ages 15 to 18 to register because of the SK elections.

In Cebu Province, eligible voters are encouraged to register early and not wait for the deadline.

“We still have a lot of preparations to do for the incoming election that’s one thing, and possibly, in August, we will again start composing the electoral boards,” said lawyer Jerome Brillantes, acting election supervisor of Comelec Cebu.

Brillantes said offsite registrations will also be held on the first week of July to hasten the process, depending on the election officer of the locality.

Data from the Comelec Cebu Provincial office show that as of November 2021, a total of 3,288,778 people from 1,203 barangays in the different towns and cities of Cebu including the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, have registered.

“You already know the mañana habit, but hopefully many will register (early),” Brillantes said.

The country’s last barangay election was held on May 14, 2018, after it was postponed twice from its original date of Oct. 2016 to Oct. 2017 and then to May 2018.

Later in 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed RA 11462 to postpone the May 2020 BSKE to December 2022. (HIC, ANV / TPT)