With the October 31st deadline drawing near, the Philippines’ Commission on Elections, or Comelec, is setting its sights on the small percentage of the population that still hasn’t registered their biometric data for next year’s election. And in the Eastern Visayas region in particular, there are about 17,000 individuals outstanding.
It’s a lot of people, but only a tiny slice of the region’s population of 2.57 million voters. That speaks to Comelec’s considerable success in getting voters registered for the country’s first election to mandate biometric polling. Comelec has approached the task with escalating levels of urgency, campaigning earlier this year under the slogan ‘No Bio, No Boto‘ (meaning, roughly, ‘no biometrics, no ballot’), then adopting the phrase ‘Walang Forever‘ (‘nothing lasts forever’, referring to the looming deadline for registration), and, most recently, ‘Huling Hirit’ (‘last chance’). Under this last phase of the campaign, Comelec is has extended the office hours of registration centers in a bid to ensure that citizens have every opportunity to get signed up.
Its efforts have included enlisting celebrities to promote biometric registration on Twitter, opening registration centers in the country’s popular malls, and more. Now, to help reach those in Eastern Visayas who find it difficult to reach the urban centers where they can register, Comelec is planning to roll out mobile registration centers, which could help to further close the registration gap before the deadline arrives.
October 15, 2015 – by Alex Perala