Comelec to prioritize vulnerable sectors in voter registration

MANILA Members of vulnerable sectors will be given special attention in the two-month voter registration that is set to start next month, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Friday.

In a statement, the poll body said that through Comelec Resolution 10549, they will conduct special satellite registration for the youth, senior citizens (SC), women, persons deprived of liberty (PDL), persons with disabilities (PWD), members of indigenous peoples (IPs) and indigenous cultural communities (ICCs), and other vulnerable sectors.

It added that the Offices of the Election Officers (OECs) nationwide are mandated to coordinate with concerned non-government organization networks that empower PWDs, women and SCs, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) or its affiliate organizations in their localities for the conduct of the activity.

From August 1 to September 30, PWDs, SCs and members of IPs and ICCs may apply for registration or update their existing registration records.

Express lanes will be provided for PWDs, SCs and pregnant applicants at the OEC or any satellite registration site where they are not the only registrants.

During the registration process, any PWD or illiterate person or member of IPs/ICCs may be assisted in the preparation of his/her application form by the election officer, any member of an accredited citizen's arm, a relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, or any person of his/her confidence living in the same household.

A supplementary form shall be accomplished wherein PWDs and SCs will indicate their willingness to vote in the precincts assigned in accessible polling places (APPs), while members of IPs/ICCs shall indicate his/her tribe or community.

In case of members of IPs/ICCs who may be lacking government IDs, the Comelec said they may present their Certificate of Confirmation issued by the NCIP as a valid identification document to the registration team.

A gender-sensitive registration process shall be observed by giving full access to the registration processes of women who care for small children, and by encouraging the local government units to open their Day Care Centers for use as holding areas for children of registrants on registration days.

On the other hand, for the registration of PDLs in detention centers/jails, those who shall be 18 years of age on Election Day and/or are committed inside the detention centers for at least six months immediately preceding Election Day may register as a voter.

Under existing laws, PDLs may only vote for national positions but they may register for the purpose of the May 2020 polls. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency