The Philippines’ Commission on Elections (Comelec) continues its relentless push to get eligible voters to register their biometric data ahead of next year’s national election. To that end, Comelec kept its registration centers open during the Eid al-Adha holiday this week, and urged eligible voters to take advantage of their free time by getting registered.
It seems unlikely that many would have heeded that call, though, given that Comelec has also urged employers to accommodate employee requests for time off to go and register their biometrics – though of course there are likely many whose work doesn’t permit such activity on company time, and it’s quite possible that some of them did indeed use the holiday to get signed up. From Comelec’s perspective, every little bit helps. The October 31st deadline is fast approaching, and with only a small slice of the population of eligible voters left to register, the commission is making a final push to fulfill its mandate to make sure as many of those individuals are able to actually vote as possible.
The move toward biometric polling appears to be part of a wider embrace of biometric technology in the country, particularly in the service of civic ideals, with the Philippines’ Department of Justice having recently launched a biometric administration system for its prisons. That move is being promoted as an effort to ensure prisoner records are kept accurate and secure, while the biometric polling appears to be a means of ensuring that elections proceed fairly and without corruption or tampering.
Source: Manila Bulletin
September 25, 2015 – by Alex Perala