High turnout of voters in Negros - Comelec

THERE was a high turnout of voters in Negros Occidental, especially for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), during the 10-day registration that ended Wednesday, lawyer Jessie Suarez, provincial Commission on Elections (Comelec) supervisor, confirmed on Thursday.

"The turnout in new SK registrants was unexpected," Suarez said.

As of July 30, Negros Occidental has 45,806 new regular voters and 92,736 voters for the SK, records at the provincial election office show.

Suarez said that aside from the new voters, there are 2,014 registrants who transferred within a local government unit; 6,987 who transferred from one local government unit to another; 687 who transferred with reactivation; 5,980 whose registration was reactivation within the local government unit; 1,632 who registered with corrections in their status.

In Bacolod City, as of July 31, there were 5,211 regular voters and 5,165 for the SK, records further show.

All over the country, there were 1.3 million new regular voters and 2.2 million SK registrants, according to Comelec spokesman James Jimenez.

Meanwhile, Suarez said in order to address problems encountered during the 10-day registration, “legislative action” should be taken.

This means, he said, that the Congress should pass a law to schedule the barangay and SK elections a year after a national election.

This year, we have not yet finished our reports on the May 13 polls when we were ordered to prepare for the October elections again, Suarez pointed out.

About the alleged “hakot system” employed by prospective barangay and SK candidates during the registration, Suarez said that, this matter should be addressed by the Commission on Audit as it pertains to resources of the barangays.

Funds and government vehicles were reportedly used especially by incumbent barangay and SK officials and other prospective candidates for the October 28 Barangay and SK elections to haul the registrants.

"For so long as they do not interfere in the system of Comelec, we cannot go after those activities because in fact they have helped us with our jobs," Suarez pointed out.
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