GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 May) — Commission on Elections (Comelec) personnel here and nearby South Cotabato province have launched a massive information and education campaign for the fresh round of voter registration that started on Tuesday.
Lawyer Jay Gerada, Comelec-South Cotabato provincial supervisor, said they have scheduled a series of engagements with various sectors in the area to promote proper awareness and highlight the importance of the nationwide voter registration and validation.
“We will be going to the barangays to encourage participation from our stakeholders and properly inform them about the registration, the requirements and the involved processes,” he said.
The official said they will also coordinate with local government units in the area to generate more support for the voter registration and validation.
The Comelec central office had mandated local election offices to launch voter registration clinics to mobilize voters for the initiative, which was part of the agency’s preparations for the 2016 national and local elections.
The voter registration and validation, which will end on October 2015, includes the registration of new voters, taking of biometric records or information and the reinstatement of inactive voters.
Comelec is targeting to register and complete the biometric records of some 9.6 million voters and enlist an additional three million new voters or those who will turn 18 on or before election day in 2016.
Gerada said all election offices covered by the Comelec provincial office opened the registration and validation activities as scheduled on Tuesday morning.
He said all necessary documents and equipment were delivered to the election offices a week ago to ensure the smooth conduct of the registration activities.
Comelec-South Cotabato’s operational and administrative coverage comprises this city and the province’s 10 towns and lone city.
“Each election office will accommodate 200 registrants per day,” Gerada said.
The official said that as set by the Comelec central office, the voter registration and validation will be conducted at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday.
Gerada said they are hoping to accommodate or register all voters in the area who were deactivated by the agency after failing to cast their vote in the last two elections.
“That’s our main target aside from completing the biometric records of our registered voters,” he said.
He said each election office has posted a list of voters who have no complete biometric data like their thumb marks, photographs and signatures.
As of the May 2013 local and national midterm elections, South Cotabato’s total registered voters was listed at 669,432.
This city has a total of 233,937 registered voters while Koronadal City and the province’s 10 municipalities posted 435,495 voters. (MindaNews)