COMELEC says no to Rep. Rodriguez’s proposal for online filing of certificates of candidacy

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 22 June) – The Commission on Elections nixed a proposal by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro) to allow online filing of certificates of candidacy as well as voters’ registration for the 2022 elections.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez. MindaNews file photo by Froilan Gallardo

Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said the congressman’s proposal needs a law to supersede the Omnibus Election Code, which requires the physical filing of certificates by candidates.

“The bill has to pass both chambers in Congress and we don’t think there would be time enough for that,” Casquejo said.

Rodriguez said he would be filing a bill to allow the online filing of certificates of candidacy because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the Comelec should adapt to the circumstances and address the dangers of infection when candidates file their certificates of candidacy.

Casquejo is here in Cagayan de Oro to launch COMELEC’s Mobile Registration Form App that will help in hastening voters’ registration.

He said the app would be attractive to the young voters who are afraid to go to the COMELEC offices to register because of the pandemic.

“Of the 10 million young voters of 18 years old, only five million have registered. This app should answer the need,” Casquejo told election officers in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental.

The app, however, is no longer available for download online.

The app, which is only for the Android platform, was initially downloadable online during the June 15 launch. But the COMELEC website said that starting June 17, the app will only be available in local COMELEC offices included in the pilot areas, which consist of 575 cities and municipalities.

The app, however, can be shared via SHAREit or Bluetooth.

The COMELEC website said that “the app remains to be usable offline.”

Once installed on the phone, “the user may apply for voter registration by typing in the necessary information required by the app. An encrypted QR Code will be generated once the user finishes providing all the required details.”

The registrant will then have to go to the local COMELEC office “to have [his/her] QR Code scanned and biometrics taken.” (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)