By Gillian M. Cortez
THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) is looking to strengthen voter registration in areas expected to take part in a plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
“We’re holding registrations now but instead of holding a separate special registration, ang gagawin namin (what we’ll do) is we’re going to intensify the registration that’s currently ongoing in the area,” Comelec Spokesperson James B. Jimenez said in a press briefing on Wednesday.
“We will be making satellite registration mandatory for the field offices and to help this happen, magpapadala ang Comelec ng (the Comelec will send) special registration teams,” he added.
The plebiscite is planned for late December this year or early January next year.
“We can’t pin it in a specific date because we don’t know when the effectivity actually is,” Mr. Jimenez said.
The Comelec also said it is in the process of identifying “Unknown Yet Areas” or UYAs in the Bangsamoro region.
“These are areas that are adjacent to the identified areas na kasama sa (BOL). Those are a lot and we’re still in the process of identifying every last one of them kasi hindi malalaki ang mga lugar na ‘to eh (These areas are not very big). It’s just marami sila (they’re many). It’s a bit difficult to finish that,” Mr. Jimenez said.
He stressed it’s crucial for the Comelec to identify these areas so the Comelec will know how to prepare for the plebiscite.
“It’s important we identify the plebscite area because we won’t know how many ballots we’re going to prepare or how many polling places we need to set up or how many people we need,” Mr. Jimenez said.