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Comelec board hearing continues for 27K voter applicants in Albay province

By Cyryl L. Montales

LEGAZPI CITY---The Commision on Election (Comelec) started the Election Registration Board (ERB) hearing of filed voters' applications covering the period Dec. 1, 2022 to Jan. 30, 2022 on March 6, Monday.

‘’It doesn't necessarily mean that a voter will automatically be considerd as a registered voter after he filed his application. It has a process whereby ERB can approve or disapprove it base on the grounds for disqualification,’’ Comelec Legazpi Election Officer Atty. Connie Del Castillo announced on March 10, Friday during the Talakayan sa PIA Albay radio program.

She added that the said ERB is part of their ongoing preparation for the Sangguniang Kabataan and Barangay Elections (BSKE) 2023.

Atty. Del Castillo said that election officers in all Comelec offices within the city or municipality will process all the voters' applications for registration, transfer, and correction of entries that were filed from December 2022 to January 2023.

From Dec. 2022 to Jan. 2023 there were 27,003 applicants from the province of Albay, with 4,472 from Legazpi city.

To date, Albay has a total of 1,264,710 registered voters in the province.

3 Grounds for disqualification

Voter applicants can be disqualified if they did not meet any one of the three qualifications such as age, residency, and citizenship requirements.

‘’First is the 15 to 20 years old age requirement for Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Election voter applicants, that is why we are requiring them [ to submit] their birth certificates and ID,’’ Atty. Del Castillo said.

‘’Another is the residency requirement wherein they register based on their residency. They need to be a resident in that place for at least six (6) months before the election and they should be a Filipino Citizen,’’ Atty. Del Castillo added.

According to the election officer, if the voters' paper can not make it to the assessment, they still have a chance to be qualified.

She highlighted that before the ERB hearing, all the applicants with opposition were scheduled and were provided with notice to appear before the board to show their evidence for qualification.

Atty. Del Castillo is encouraging all of those who received the notice to appear in the ERB hearing to enable them to be qualified as registered voters.

The release of the result in the ERB hearing will depend on the number of applicants in Comelec offices in the city or municipality, she added.

‘’If they are approved or disapproved, the result will be posted by the election officers in their office's bulletin board as well as in LGUs,’’ said Atty. Del Castillo.

She also emphasized that there is no chance of extension to open voters registration.

Based on the calendar of activities released by the Comelec, the election period will begin on July 3 until Nov. 14, 2023.

Simultaneously on July 3 to 7 owill be the filing of Certificate of Candidacy. Other schedules on the COMELEC timeline include: Campaign Ban (July 8 - Oct. 18), Campaign period (Oct. 19 to 28), Liquor Ban (campaigning prohibited Oct. 29-30). The day of the election is slated on Oct. 30, 2023.

Atty. Del Castillo stressed that all registered voters should vote during the BSKE.

‘’The comelec is providing you the opportunity to choose your leader, your registration will be useless if you will not vote,’’ Atty. Del Castillo said. (PIA5/Albay)


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