10% hike in registered voters expected in Central Visayas

10% hike in registered voters expected in Central Visayas
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THE local electoral body is anticipating a 10 percent increase in the number of registered voters in Central Visayas as they commence voter registration for the May 2025 midterm polls next week.

Spokesperson Omar Sharif Dilangalen Mamalinta of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu told SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, February 10, 2024, that they expect such an increase as they conduct various voter education and other campaigns to boost voter registration.

He said the Comelec is scheduled to open the seven-month voter registration period starting on Monday, February 12, and it will conclude on September 30, in line with the mid-term national and local elections next year.

Mamalinta added that he cannot provide data on the current number of registered voters in the region.

But based on the information provided to SunStar Cebu by Ivan Jason delos Santos, administration officer of Comelec Central Visayas, during the last Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections in October last year, there were a total of 5,415,071 registered voters in the region. A 10 percent increase in this figure would total 5,956,578.

He said they anticipate most registrants to be new voters, aged 18 years old or older on or before election day. Thus, they are increasing their presence by reinforcing their voter education campaign on social media platforms and through in-person events to reach the youth sectors.

The election officer also added that Comelec will continue to implement satellite registrations to accommodate more registrants.

He said institutions and offices may request to conduct registrations in different areas, such as malls, universities, and barangays. But he specified that there must be at least 200 registrants.

There is also a satellite registration through the Register Anywhere Program (RAP), for which they have scheduled two events in Cebu City and Mandaue City.

The nationwide implementation of RAP aims to provide more options and opportunities for voter registration in areas with higher concentrations of foot traffic and gatherings of individuals eligible to vote.

He said they have scheduled to bring the program to Cebu Doctors' University in Mandaue City on February 28. There will be a voter education event expected to gather 1,000 participants, along with simultaneous voter registrations via RAP for students and faculty members of the school.

There will also be a RAP, which is slated at the University of San Carlos Talamban Campus in Cebu City, on February 27. They are still finalizing other details with the institution.

Mamalinta said that for the time being, they would focus on accommodating the registration requests being processed in different election offices.

Meanwhile, he urged individuals who wish to register to visit the nearest Comelec office in their area from Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including holidays, except for March 28, 29, and 30, in observance of Holy Week.

According to Mamalinta, aside from meeting the age requirements, qualified registrants must have resided in the place where they propose to vote for at least six months.

He emphasized that during the registration process, individuals are required to present valid identification. Acceptable forms of identification include the PhilSys National ID card, Postal ID card, PWD ID Card, Student’s ID card or library card signed by the school authority, Senior Citizen’s ID card, LTO Driver’s license or Student Permit, NBI clearance, and Philippine Passport.

Other valid identification also include SSS/GSIS ID or other UMID card, Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID card, Professional Regulatory Commission License, Certificate of Confirmation issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples for members of ICCs or IPs, Barangay Identification/Certification with photo, and any other government-issued valid IDs. (KJF)


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