With the October 31st registration deadline imminent, unregistered voters are now flocking to the Philippines’ enrollment centers to provide their biometric identification data in anticipation of next year’s election.
According to the Manila Bulletin, even the head of the country’s Commission on Elections (Comelec), Andres Bautista, was taken aback on a recent visit to a satellite registration site at a popular mall, telling the paper that the throngs of registrants brought to mind the song “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang?”, or “Why Only Now?” That, of course, is a reference to the long campaign Comelec has waged to raise public awareness about the need to register. The company rolled out its “No Bio, No Boto” (“No Bio, No Vote”) campaign early this summer, and this month introduced the slogan “Huling Hirit”, meaning “Last Chance”.
Fortunately, Comelec has taken measures to accommodate the anticipated last-minute registrants. Registration centers’ operating hours have been extended to 12-hour days, satellite centers have been opened in various locations including the country’s popular malls, and Comelec recently suggested it would send mobile registration units out to rural areas. And the upsurge in registrants, however frustrating in light of the length of Comelec’s campaign, is good news with respect to Comelec’s overall goal of registering the small fraction of the voter population still outstanding.
Source: Manila Bulletin
October 23, 2015 – by Alex Perala