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Comelec’s ‘Register Anywhere’ reels off

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Commission on Elections in Bicol started on Monday the implementation of the Register Anywhere Program (RAP), which encourages allows more people to be enlisted as voters.


Under the program, those who want to exercise their right to vote in future elections may register wherever they are in the country.


In a press conference that was co ducted as part of the kick-off ceremony of the National Voter’s Day at SM City Legazpi, Comelec-5 Regional Director Juana Valeza said at least seven areas in the six Bicol provinces are ready to accept voters' inquiries and registration.


“Tayo ang lumalapit sa tao, so we keep on initiating means na siguraduhin na the public service will be felt by people by reaching out to them, by making it accessible and inclusive. Lalaki talaga ang number of registered voters natin because of our efforts. (We go to the people, we keep on initiating means to make sure that public service will be felt by people by reaching out to them, by making it accessible and inclusive. Our number of registered voters will increase because of our efforts),” Valeza said.


RAP sites will be open in the following Bicol areas from Feb. 12 to Aug. 31: Virac, Catanduanes; Sorsogon City in Sorsogon province; Masbate City, Masbate; Legazpi City, Albay; Daet, Camarines Norte; and Pili and Naga City in Camarines Sur.


REGISTER ANYWHERE Residents of Legazpi City in Albay wait for their turn to register as voters as the Commission on Elections in Bicol started to implement the Register Anywhere program at the SM City Legazpi on Monday, Feb. 12. The areas where the program is being implemented are open starting February 12 to August 31, 2024. (PNA photo by Connie Calipay)


Valeza added that aside from new voter registration, RAP sites will also accept reactivation, transfer within or from other areas, correction of entries, reinstatement, and transfer of registration from overseas to local.


“Mas madali na lang ngayon kasi isang form na lang ang fill-upan nila, noon kasi three forms pa (It's easier now because they only have to fill out one form, instead of the previous three),” she said.


Comelec-Albay election supervisor Ma. Aurea Bo-Bunao urged the people not to wait until the deadline before they go to the Comelec offices.


“We will not be tired of reminding our people to visit Comelec offices in the province. We will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays to accommodate registrants,” Bo-Bunao said.


Local resident Ryan Pasamba, 42, transferred his registration from Barangay Bagumbayan to Barangay Taysan in this city.


“Easier and the place is easy to find and convenient. I came on the first day since I didn't want to be hassled on the succeeding days or even on the last day. The transaction was fast and I thanked the accommodating and approachable staff,” he said in an interview.


The requirements for voter registration are: must be a Filipino; at least 18 years of age on election day on May 12, 2025; a resident of the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein he/she proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the 2025 midterm polls; and not otherwise disqualified by law. (PNA)

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