New voters top 1.6M as sign-up period ends: Comelec

By Ferdinand Patinio

February 2, 2023, 1:21 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has surpassed its target of new registrants after recording more than 1.6 million possible new voters for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) this October.

“If we add all reactivation, inclusion, and reinstatement applications, as well as the Register Anywhere Project (RAP) new applicants and reactivations, the total number of additional voters is at 1,631,433, subject of course to the approval of the respective Election Registration Boards,” Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said in a message to reporters Thursday.

Laudiangco said this surpasses the poll body's target of at least 1.5 million additional voters for the Dec. 12, 2022 to Jan. 31, 2023 registration period.

Based on the final figures of the Comelec, a total of 2,504,502 applications were filed before regular voter registration sites in all cities and municipalities in the country.

On the other hand, an additional 8,979 applications were submitted to selected RAP booths.

The number of new registrants includes 674,630 who were aged 15 years to 17 years; 659,070, aged 18 years to 30 years; and 142,107, aged 31 years and above.

Those in the 15- to 17-year-old age bracket may vote in the SK polls, while those in the 18- to 30-year-old age group are allowed to participate in both village and youth polls.

Those 31 years old and above will only vote in the barangay polls.

Among the SK applicants, 5,121 applied for transfer from other cities/municipalities, while 2,841 applied for transfer within the same city/municipality.

For regular voter applicants, 566,644 applied for transfer from other cities/municipalities, while 154,033 applied for transfer within the same city/municipality.

A total of 94,266 applied for reactivation, and 25,321 for reactivation with correction of entries.

The Comelec added that they received 22,612 applications for transfer with reactivation; 7,535 applications for transfer with reactivation and correction of entries; and 28,812 applications for transfer with correction of entries.

A total of 102,620 individuals applied for change of name/correction of entries; 126 for inclusion of records in the book of voters; and 44 for reinstatement of their name in the list of voters.

The number of applications for transfer from being an overseas voter stood at 9,741.

Meanwhile, Laudiangco reported the successful pilot test of the RAP.

“We had fully achieved the goal of pilot testing our systems and IT infrastructure on the possibility of remote registration while remaining fully compliant to RA (Republic Act) 8189, at the same time benefiting the sectors which needed it the most: non-resident workers, OFWs, seafarers, students, and transients,” he said.

“Therefore, it’s just a matter of expanding the training, as well as the number of RAP staff, strengthening Comelec IT Infrastructure, further hardening of cybersecurity, identification of strategic areas for RAP sites sufficient to establish nationwide coverage, and more collaborations and partnerships with malls throughout the country.”

The project was implemented in selected malls, universities, and some government agencies on weekends starting Dec. 17-18, 2022 until January 2023. (PNA)