COVID-19 hinders voter listing abroad

THE Commission on Elections and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) are still confident they will still hit their target of registering 2 million new voters abroad despite the effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on their ongoing overseas voter registration.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena V. Guanzon admitted they already have observed a significant decline in the number of registrant in areas abroad with confirmed Covid-19 cases like in South Korea.

“In [South] Korea, there are no one [people] going out of their homes,” Guanzon said.

As of March 4, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded 93,090 confirmed Covid-19 cases in 77 countries. These include those with large numbers of Filipinos like Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, however, said they are banking on the long period of the ongoing voter registration, which will run from December 16, 2019, until September 30, 2021, to meet their registration goals.

“If they cannot register now, they still have more time in the coming months’ until next year there will be overseas voter registration,” Dulay said.

Comelec currently has 1.3 million registered voters.   


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