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SET TO LAUNCH ON FEB 19: Comelec’s ‘Register Anywhere’ program

By Bobby Q. Labalan

LEGAZPI CITY --- New voters who intend to register but are far away from their places of residence will now have an easy option.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will launch the “Register Anywhere” program this month as voters’ registration again commences on February 12, Comelec Bicol Regional Director Maria Juana Valeza said in an interview at the regional office over the weekend.

Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia and other top Comelec officials will formally launch the program in Bicol on February 19 at the Bicol University campus in Daraga town, the director said.

Under the program, new voters will be allowed to register with the Comelec office nearest them without need to go back to their place of residence or where they intend to vote. She, however, clarified that the program is available only in provincial capitals and in highly urbanized cities.

Aside from registration, an existing voter may also avail of the program if they intend to transfer their place of registration, to reactivate, change of status or update their records, she added.

Thus, a voter working in Bicol Region but wishes to vote in Mindanao or elsewhere may now register anywhere in the region where the “Register Anywhere” Program is being implemented, the Comelec director said.

The program will initially be implemented in the towns of Daet in Camarines Norte, Naga City and Pili in Camarines Sur, Legazpi City in Albay, Sorsogon City in Sorsogon, Virac in Catanduanes and Masbate City in Masbate province.

The election officers of these areas will then send the forms to the place of residence of the voter or where he or she wants to vote, the election official said.

She stressed, however, that the program would only last until August 30, a month earlier than the regular registration period, to allow the election officers to transmit the forms to the respective areas.

Aside from the “Register Anywhere” program, the Comelec will also facilitate the automatic registration of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) members who would be turning 18 years old on the day of the election on May 12, 2025.

Valeza said SK members who would be qualified to vote on the election day in 2025 need not anymore register with the COMELEC provided they are registered voters of the SK.

These innovations in the registration process are part of the modernization program being done by the election agency to facilitate easy processes and to encourage more voters to register, Valeza explained.

Hopefully this will also lessen the queues in election offices, improve the registration process and lighten the tasks of election field offices which are perennially undermanned, she added.

Despite this problem on manpower, Valeza assured that their filed personnel are all up to the task and that they are always prepared to work on all election-related activities.

She urged qualified voters to register so they would be able to participate in upcoming elections as she confirmed that Bicol now has more than 3.91 million voters, up from just about 3.8 million registered voters before the 2022 elections.

Meanwhile, only 58 percent of all the local government units in the region took part in the signature campaign launched by supporters of the people’s initiative in Bicol5

Data from the Comelec showed that out of the 15 legislative districts regionwide, only eight districts were able to submit signature sheets for the failed initiative which include all the three districts of Albay, two districts of Camarines Norte, two districts of Sorsogon, the lone district of Catanduanes and only the 4th district of Camarines Sur.

There were no submissions from the three districts of Masbate and the first to third and fifth districts of Camarines Sur, Valeza revealed.

Of all the provinces that submitted, Albay logged the highest percentage of signatures gathered at 19.49 percent, followed by Catanduanes at 18.64 percent, Sorsogon at 18.28 percent, Camarines Norte- 2.88 percent and Camarines Sur at 1.92 percent, the data further indicated.

Over-all regionwide, the PI supporters were able to gather 334,326 supposed signatures out of the total 3,910,261 registered voters.

But Valeza said the signatures are still to be validated and that they are awaiting further instruction if the process would still proceed after it was indefinitely suspended by the commission.


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