A GROUP of progressive lawmakers in the House of Representatives has filed a resolution calling the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the voter registration period for the 2022 national elections to “deter massive voter disenfranchisement.” 

The Makabayan bloc filed House Resolution 2128 seeking to extend the Sept. 30 deadline to Oct. 31.   

“The backlog and challenges in voter’s registration threaten to disenfranchise an estimated 13.1 million prospective voters in the upcoming 2022 national elections,” the group said in the resolution.  

They underscored the need for an extension given the suspension of registration activities during strict lockdown periods.   

“Considering the (total) five-and-a-half month suspension which is equivalent to approximately 28.3% or 164 days of the voter registration period across the country… Comelec has the prerogative to set the deadline of voter registration on a later date but before Jan. 9. 2022,” according to the resolution.    

Comelec Commissioner Rowena V. Guanzon said on Aug. 9 that there will be no extension in the voter’s registration deadline, citing the time needed for the completion of the project of precincts (POP) by December along with the printing of official ballots by January. The filing of certificates of candidacy starts Oct. 1.   

A similar resolution was also filed by seven senators in the Senate on Aug. 12 which also sought to extend the voter’s registration period. — Russell Louis C. Ku