Comelec shelves voters mandatory biometrics

Posted on July 13, 2013

THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) suspended indefinitely on Friday the implementation of mandatory biometrics for registered voters in order to focus on their preparations for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October.

The poll body promulgated Resolution 9741 on July 10 suspending the validation of registration records effective July 12.

Comelec cited the need to "maximize the workforce" of its field offices for the October 28 barangay and SK elections in deciding to suspend the biometrics validation. The poll body will hold voter registration for the October elections from July 22 to 31.

Comelec originally scheduled the validation of records starting July 1.

Under RA 10367, new voters are required to enroll their biometrics while registered voters who fail to validate their records will be deactivated and will not be allowed to vote in the May 2016 presidential elections.

In a related development, Comelec has issued the guidelines for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the barangay elections in October.

In Resolution 9740 promulgated on July 10, candidates who will run in the barangay and SK elections can file their COCs from October 15 to 17 during regular office hours at their respective municipal or city election officers.

Registered voters will elect one punong barangay (barangay captain) and seven members of the Sangguniang Barangay (barangay council). Filipinos between 15 to 17 years old who registered before the poll body for the SK polls will also vote one SK chairperson and seven council members.

Qualifications for prospective barangay and SK officials include: a Filipino citizenship, a registered voter where he intends to be elected, a resident of the barangay for at least a year before election day, and able to read and write.

To qualify, candidates for barangay officials should also at least be 18 years old and SK candidates should be at least 15 years old but less than 18 years old on October 28.

Government officials who will file their COCs are deemed resigned when the filing of candidacy begins. -- Mikhail Franz E. Flores