For the past few months, almost everyone on our timelines has been reminding each other about one specific date: September 30, 2021. It was the initial deadline set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for nationwide voter registration for the 2022 polls. But that date was set before the pandemic which shut down offices for the better part of 2020 and hampered operations in the following community quarantine measures. For months, everyone was clamoring for one thing: for Comelec to extend voter registration. And it’s actually happening.
Comelec previously refused requests to extend the deadline due to how it would affect their timeline. But after the overwhelming public clamor for the extension — as well as actions taken by even lawmakers — they’ve agreed to extend it from October 11 to 30.
Voter registration will be open from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Note that voter registration will no longer be available on Saturdays, except October 30, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reactivation can still be done via email.
Senate approves bill to extend voter registration
The House of Representatives likewise passed a similar bill. House Bill 10261, which had 193 affirmative votes, also sought to extend the last day of voter registration for the 2022 polls.
Why did we need an extension?
EXTEND VOTER REGISTRATION.
The Initiative for Movement-building, Political Action and Community Transformation (+iMPACT) Leadership, along w/ more than 5,000 signatories of its petition, welcome the passage of the bill seeking to #ExtendTheReg until October 31.#MagpaRehistroKa pic.twitter.com/QtCuNDz70u
— iMPACT Leadership (@iMPACTPH2019) September 27, 2021
“We hope the Comelec will use the one-month extension to ramp up voter registration and ensure that more people can vote next year because we cannot afford to disenfranchise voters,” said Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, the author of House Bill 10261.
Velasco called for the office of the government to be “flexible and alert” since the pandemic “forced [voters] to delay their registration.” He said that Comelec “should not allow the democratic process of election to be stalled by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubir couldn’t agree more. Senate Bill 2408 stressed that almost half a year of registration period was lost to the pandemic and even more days due to different community quarantine measures.
Voter registration actually exceeded targets
We see how eager Filipinos are in exercising their right to vote for the 2022 elections. In many centers nationwide, people are lining up as early as the night before just to complete their registration.
Celebrities lining up to register
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Over the past few weeks, as we’re nearing the initial deadline for registration, many flocked to malls and registration sites to sign up last minute. This included celebrities like Maris Racal, Barbie Forteza, Bea Alonzo, and more. Some of them went through the same thing every Filipino experienced — lining up as early as the night before and enduring hours standing in line. Even more celebrities like Pia Wurtzbach, Angel Locsin, and Daniel Padilla are urging everyone to reactivate their registration status and register to vote.
I will continue reminding everyone to register to vote. Dahil sigurado, maraming magpapabukas nito until the last minute. No more excuses (even for me) lahat tayo dapat registered na. Hindi enough na sa social media lang tayo naririnig. #MasMaramiTayo #MagparehistroKa #40MStrong
— Pia Wurtzbach (@PiaWurtzbach) September 7, 2020
Please please register to vote.
Your voice matters ❤️ https://t.co/6haZupL128
— Donny (@donnypangilinan) September 10, 2020
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How can you register for the 2022 polls?
If you aren’t registered yet, this is your chance to do so. Don’t know the first step to take? We’ll guide you through the process in our step-by-step guide on how to register to vote in the middle of the pandemic. Visual learner? Check out the video above!
For those who are looking to reactivate their voter status, you can start doing that online too. Deactivated voters are those who failed to participate in the last two elections. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to reactivate your voter record online.
How to check if your voting status is still active
Up next: COC filing
One reason Comelec keeps refusing to extend the registration deadline is that they “don’t have the luxury of time.” Abas said that the poll body has a “tight timeline ahead of the 2022 elections.” After the supposed deadline of Sept. 30 for voter registration, Comelec is supposed to focus on the filing of the certificates of candidacy (COC) which is scheduled for Oct. 1 to 8.