The Philippines’ Commission on Elections, or ‘Comelec’, is reporting fair progress in getting voters to register their biometric information in anticipation of the country’s 2016 election. The Commission’s Chairman told reporters yesterday that Comelec now has about 50 million voters registered.
That compared against the 52 million registered voters ahead of the 2013 mid-term elections, and looks even better against the 48-million-voter list that resulted when many voters’ names were stricken off after they had failed to vote in the mid-term. Still, Chairman Andres Bautista is aiming high, suggesting to reporters on Sunday that Comelec ought to have between 54 and 56 million voters registered, and asserting that right now the organization pegs the number of unregistered voters at about 4.3 million. “To be honest,” he said, “I will be happy if we can get half (of that number).”
Bautista made the statements at a press event for the opening of a new registration booth at Makati City’s Glorietta Mall. It’s part of a broader communications strategy seeking to make voter registration convenient and highly visible, with booths opening at malls across the country and celebrities being roped in to tweet about it. And while there has been some controversy over the implementation of the biometric system, particularly with respect to the possibility of security breaches and the loss of biometric data, the overall process has been quite smooth. Biometric voter identification appears to be on the rise, with other national states also experimenting with it as well, and it appears that in the case of the Philippines the government is doing its best to work with the public in ensuring it works out for all concerned.
Source: The Philippine Star
July 6, 2015 – by Alex Perala