MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking to register some 850,000 regular and youth voters in the ongoing nationwide voter registration which started on Monday and will run until the end of the month.

“The Comelec expects less than 500,000 new Barangay registrants (18 years old), and approximately 350,000 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) registrants,” said Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez in a statement Monday.

He reported that the first day of the voter registration on Monday went on smoothly, with some areas in the National Capital Region (NCR) reporting long queues.

“The first day of voter registration is going smoothly thus far. Various cities in Metro Manila are seeing massive numbers -- Makati 1st and Taguig, in particular, are reporting queues of up to 200 people,” Jimenez added.

The poll body official added that public response from other areas in the country is “light” as expected.

“Outside the NCR, registration turnout is light. This is not entirely unexpected for two reasons: historically, voter registration turnout increases as the deadline draws near; and the fact that only those who missed the last registration cycle earlier this year are expected to come now,” he said.

The continuing voter registration resumed on Monday and will end on November 30.

Qualified voters were urged to file their applications for registration, reactivation, and change/correction of entries/and inclusion/reinstatement of records in the list of voters at all city/district/municipality Offices of the Election Officer (OEOs), except in the province of Lanao del Sur.

The OEOs are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Mondays to Saturdays, including holidays.

Qualified to register as regular voters are Filipino citizens, at least 18 years of age on or before May 14, 2018 BSKE; a resident of the Philippines for at least one year; and a resident in the place wherein he/she proposes to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the elections.

On the other hand, those who are qualified to register as SK voters are Filipino citizens, at least 15 years of age on or before May 14, 2018 polls but not more than 30 years old; and residing in the barangay for at least six months on or before May 2018 BSKE.

The number of registrants for voter registration for July 2016 was 3,093,023 voters while the number of registrants for voter registration held from November 2016 to April 2017 was 2,764,745 voters and 705,570 voters were aged 15 to 17 years old. (PNA)