(File photo)

MANILA – The continuing registration for local and overseas voters, including those who would like to transfer registration from overseas to local, will start the second week of December.

In a statement Thursday, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said the voter registration period was approved by the poll body during Wednesday's en banc session.

“Simultaneous resumption of the system of continuing voter registration for local and overseas on Dec. 9, 2022; Deadline for application in local voter registration, which is until Jan. 31, 2023,” he said.

At the same time, the poll body official reminded those who are looking to register are required to submit the documentary requirements and have their biometrics data captured at the Office of the Election Officer (OEO), or at any satellite registration site having jurisdiction over their residence.

Aside from the duly filled-out application form, applicants must present and submit competent proof of identity as may be allowed by the Comelec, or the appropriate affidavit of identification sworn under law.

He also reminded that minimum public health standards will be strictly enforced in all registration sites.

Laudiangco, meanwhile, noted that the commission also approved the pilot testing of the Register Anywhere Project (RAP) which will initially be held in five select malls/satellite registration sites in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The RAP will be conducted every Saturday and Sunday from Dec. 10, 2022 until Jan. 29, 2023 (except Dec. 24, 25 and 31, 2022, and Jan. 1, 2023).

Applicants may proceed to the RAP booths of the select Metro Manila malls to submit the required documents, have their oaths administered and their biometrics data captured right, even if they reside in another city or municipality.

The submitted documents and captured biometrics data shall then be endorsed and transmitted by the recipient RAP teams to the OEO of the district/city/municipality having jurisdiction over the residence of the applicant for the requisite verification, publication/posting and Election Registration Board (ERB) Hearing.

Laudiangco said this initiative seeks to bring voter registration closer to the public and make it more convenient and "citizen-centric".

“Please note that the Commission, in its inherent power to extend the period for registration beyond Jan. 31, 2023, ultimately intends to implement the RAP nationwide based on the lessons to be learned and challenges to be faced and hurdled in the NCR Pilot Testing,” the Comelec spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, overseas voters who intend to participate in the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) must transfer their registration records from overseas to local.

Overseas voters have until Jan. 31, 2023, to file their application at the OEO in the locality where they intend to vote. (PNA)