THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said it would not extend the voter registration period for another month until Oct. 31 despite a congressional threat to cut its 2022 budget.
“The Commission has thus far not amended its position not to extend the deadline for voter registration,” Comelec spokesman James B. Jimenez told reporters on Viber.
He said “Congress unquestionably holds the power of the purse” but that the Comelec is only doing “its utmost to ensure that it fulfills its mandate to hold secure, accurate and free and fair elections.”
Senator Franklin M. Drilon on Monday said Congress should cut the election body’s budget if it refuses to give more voters a chance to register amid a coronavirus pandemic.
Senators adopted a concurrent resolution urging Comelec to extend voter registration for another month until Oct. 31.
Many Filipino voters have yet to register for the elections next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, said Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, who co-sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 17.
A House of Representatives committee this month adopted two similar resolutions urging the election body to extend the voter registration period.
Senators also agreed to pass a bill that will extend the voter registration in case Comelec ignores their plea. Unlike a bill, a resolution does not have the force of law once approved. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago