Starting September 27 until September 30, 2021, all offices of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) will not issue voter’s certification.
According to COMELEC, this is to focus on the last week of voter’s registration which is scheduled to end on September 30.
“The Commission anticipates an influx of last-minute registrants as we get closer to the deadline. And given the limited number of field personnel, we must endeavor to make the full use of our limited manpower and resources in catering to applicants for voter registration,” Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said in a statement.
COMELEC added that the suspension of the issuance of voter’s certification will be effective in all Office of the Election Officers (OEOs), which includes barangays and mall registration sites where the field personnel have temporarily set up their satellite offices.
The commission, on the other hand, cited that their main office in Intramuros, Manila will not be affected of the suspension. The voter’s certification is a temporary voter’s ID card upon request of the registrants whose applications for registration have been approved by the Election Registration Board (ERB) and payment of the amount of ₱75.00.
However, the voter’s certification is free of charge for senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), Indigenous Peoples (IPs), Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) and solo parents.
In relation to this, Palawan Provincial Comelec Spokesperson Jomel Ordas said that there are definitely those who will be affected by the suspension of the issuance of voter’s certification in the province, but he is confident that the Palaweños will understand it.
“Meron maaapektuhan po sure ‘yun pero kung ilan wala po tayong idea. Base sa monthly reports ng mga election officers sa bilang ng mga narelease na voter’s certification, meron pong mga araw na marami ang nagre-request, meron nman na wala,” Ordas said.
“Tingin ko po maiintindihan ito ng ating mga kababayan sa Palawan, ilang araw lang naman mula September 27-30, para mabigyan ng pagkakataon sa mga registrants na ma-focus muna ang COMELEC sa kanila ngayong last day [last week] marehistro sila, makasali at makaboto sa darating na May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections,” he added.
Meanwhile, COMELEC offered one-week extension of voter’s registration after Certificate of Candidacy (COC) filing that will be held on October 1-8, 2021. This matter disclosed on Thursday, September 23, during the hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election Systems (AES).
COMELEC Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said that they are aware of the pending bills in Congress to extend the voter registration period of one month.
Casquejo told congressmen that En Banc has already ruled twice not to extend the registration. If the said bill will be passed as a law, the COMELEC will comply. “But then again, our proposal is to give a one-week extension after the filing of the COC. ”
When Casquejo was asked why the registration period, which used to end in October, was shortened, the commissioner explained, “We have an earlier deadline because of the preparations for pandemic.
Majority of our preparations will be affected,” The Senate and House of Representatives have pending bills, mandating the extension of voter registration until October 31, 2021.