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Philippines urges voters to complete biometric registration by deadline

Comelec also warns against 'multiple' registrations
Categories Biometrics News  |  Elections  |  ID for All
Philippines urges voters to complete biometric registration by deadline

The Philippines’ Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairperson, George Garcia, has called on people eligible to vote in the October 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections to undergo biometric registration before the Tuesday 31 January deadline.

Garcia also clarifies that the deadline is unlikely to be extended and warns voters that trying to register more than once could lead to up to six years of imprisonment. Transgressors will be caught thanks to fingerprint biometrics scanners, Garcia says.

Also commenting on the ongoing registrations, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco says that they have received over a million applications since December 2022, including via biometric Register Anywhere Project (RAP) sites in malls, universities and government offices.

Comelec has not yet disclosed the total number of registrants, but the Commission said on Monday that office hours would be extended Tuesday, the final day of registration, to allow everyone in the queue to be registered.

“They should extend as long as there are people; there are those still in line,” Garcia says.

Comelec provides update on registrations

After the closing of registrations on 31 January, Comelec posted on Twitter to confirm that despite an influx of voters, the Commission was able to manage all requests.

“As of closing time at 5:00 P.M. of 31 January 2023, reports from the ground show a high registration turnout with an average of 600 applications per registration site received thus far,” reads the document.

“Registrants […] queue at 3:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. were duly accommodated, respectively, following Comelec Resolution No. 10868 and the 30 January 2023 Memorandum of the Election and Barangay Affairs Department (EBAD) duly approved by Chairman Garcia.”

Comelec and its partner Smartmatic were recently cleared of responsibility by the National Privacy Commission for a 2022 data breach.

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