Biometric data of voters needed

Posted on June 04, 2015

DAVAO CITY -- About 20% of the city’s 888,442 registered voters have yet to update their information under the Biometrics System with just five months left before the deadline for registration for the 2016 elections.

Volunteers use a biometrics scanner. -- BW File Photo
“Registered voters should accomplish their biometrics before the deadline in October this year if they want to vote during the presidential and local elections,” said Marlon S. Casquejo, assistant director of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Region 11 office.

An update on voter information is required under Republic Act (RA) No. 10367, the Mandatory Biometrics Registration Act. Voters who fail to update their information using the Biometric System will be deactivated and will only be able to apply for reactivation after the 2016 election as provided under RA 8189, the Continuing Registration of Voters Act.

Comelec commenced the processing of biometrics in July 2013 but it started later in the Davao Region due to delays in the arrival of Data Capturing Machines.

Davao City’s 179,967 registered voters without biometrics is distributed as follows: 82,663 in the first district; 57,760 in the second district; and 39,544 in the third district.

Mr. Casquejo urged these registered voters to go to the Comelec, including the satellite offices set up in barangays, to update their data, which, he stressed will take just a few minutes.

“Updating their biometrics will only take them around five minutes. Once it is validated that they have not updated their biometrics, then the Comelec staff will just input their information on the computer,” he said.

“The numbers are alarming since many voters will be disenfranchised,” said Councilor Bernard Al-ag.

Another member of the city council, Councilor Karlo S. Bello suggested that the Comelec establish more satellite registration sites. -- Carmencita A. Carillo