VOTER REGISTRATION. Mallgoers at the SM Center Dagupan participate in the Vote Pilipinas roadshow conducted by Commission on Elections-Dagupan City in 2022. City elections officer lawyer Michael Franks Sarmiento said those who participated were taught how to properly shade and feed the ballot at the vote counting machine. (Photo by Liwayway M. Yparraguirre)

DAGUPAN CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Pangasinan provincial office is targeting some 50,000 new registrants in the extension of voter registration from Dec. 12 last year to Jan. 31 for the upcoming Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and barangay elections.

In a virtual forum organized by the Philippine Information Agency Dagupan on Friday, provincial election supervisor lawyer Marino Salas said 10,690 regular voters and 7,275 SK voters in the province have registered as of Jan. 5.

Salas said they are conducting voter registration in various ways, including off-site in schools, malls and communities, as well as giving priority to the students and the vulnerable sectors.

“We are going to the schools since classes have again started and we wanted to reach the Grades 11 and 12 students who are mostly first-time voters,” he said.

Salas advised the residents who are not yet registered to check the schedules of off-site registrations in the different Comelec field offices in their localities.

He said they have also assigned specific days to those belonging to the vulnerable sectors, such as persons with disabilities, senior citizens or the elderly, women, persons with comorbidities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) group.

“We urge the public to register early as we are again expecting that they will go to the offices on the deadline. We wanted to remind them that in as much as we wanted to accommodate everybody on the last day, our machines have a maximum capacity of 400 transactions a day each,” he added.

Salas said they have already recorded some 2.1 million voters registered in the province with Dagupan and San Carlos cities, and Malasiqui, Bayambang and Calasiao towns having the highest turnout of voter registration.

He said their offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily on Mondays to Saturdays. (PNA)