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Monday, June 24, 2024

Comelec shifts to voter listup for 2025 polls

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The scheduled voter registration nationwide for the May 2025 midterm elections, which will start on Feb. 12, is expected to push through without any obstacles now that the signature drive to amend the Constitution has been suspended, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Tuesday.

Poll body spokesman Rex Laudiangco said that since the people’s initiative (PI) is already put on hold pending a review of Comelec Resolution No. 10650, all Comelec offices have been directed not to receive signature pages anymore, and to stop from proceeding with the counting of the signatures or issuing any certification.

Poll chairman George Garcia said voter registration will resume on Feb. 12 and will run for seven months or until Sept. 30.

“Our projected number of registered voters is around 3 million, which will be added to the current 68 million voters,” he said.

Meanwhile, Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez filed a resolution urging the Comelec to clean up and update its certified list of voters.

By doing so, Gomez said, the Comelec will be able to ensure a “clean, honest, and credible elections.”

“It is widely or notoriously known that the voters’ lists today are replete with names of voters who have passed away, ‘flying voters’, and multiple registrants,” Gomez said in the resolution.

The Comelec is also slated to implement the “Register Anywhere Program” or RAP as part of its reform efforts.

Gomez pointed out that such undertakings would only be successful if its certified list of voters is cleansed.

HR 1542 is pending before the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms for action.

Also on Tuesday, Senator Francis Escudero urged the Comelec to realign billions of pesos in its budget to prepare for the 2025 midterm polls, instead of pushing for a PI.

Escudero issued the statement as he welcomed the recent decision of Comelec to suspend all PI related actions amid a wave of negative reactions.

He noted that the suspension is a huge step forward and credited President Marcos for playing a role in it.

“I thank PBBM (President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.) for interceding and reining in the Speaker and some House members,” Escudero said.

OFW Party-list Rep. Marissa Magsino, meanwhile, urged overseas Filipino workers to register for the 2025 polls through internet voting in 76 foreign posts.

Magsino issued this statement Tuesday, Jan. 30, upon receiving assurance from Comelec that an internet voting system for all eligible Filipino voters abroad will push through.

The Comelec said to confirm eligibility for the 2025 National Elections, OFWs need to verify their voter registration status. For those whose voter registration records have been deactivated due to non-participation in the past two elections, they need to reactivate their registration.

As of Jan. 15, 2024, Comelec said it has around 1.096 million registered overseas voters. The registration period is open until Sept. 30, 2024.

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