Offsite voter registrations begin
CEBU, Philippines — Off-site registrations of the Commission on Elections have already begun in national high schools in the northern towns of the province.
Cebu election supervisor Atty. Lionel Marco Castillano said that the off-site registrations are part of COMELEC’s goal to bring in more youth voters for the upcoming 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.
“Gusto gyud mi nga mobotar sila, mopartisipar sad sila sa SK para naay representation ang atong youth (We really want them to vote, to participate in the SK elections so the youth can have representation,” Castillano said.
The youth and student sector usually takes up about a third of the total election votes.
Already, COMELEC has coordinated with public high school principals in conducting the off-site registrations.
Castillano added that this effort is also made in order to discourage the students from skipping classes to be able to register on the last day of the election registration deadline.
He also said this step is also aimed at encouraging the youth in the province to take part in the upcoming elections not just by exercising their right of suffrage but also by running for a position in the SK.
Many barangays in the region reportedly lack SK officials due to the Anti-Political Dynasty Law.
Offsprings and relatives of incumbent traditional politicians have been barred from running for office and because of this, most candidates run unopposed or slots in some SK slates remain not filled in, said Castillano.
The Department of Interior and Local Government shared that they have drafted guidelines for special elections to fill up these empty slots in some barangays.
However, because it involves elections, the matter is yet to be coordinated with COMELEC.
For now, the DILG is focused on competency seminars and workshops for SK officials.
The COMELEC offices Cebu City, however, have not yet been able to launch these off-site registrations in schools.
This is because the COMELEC in the city is still busy with regular registration in its office.
“Kasagaran man gud sa kabatan-onan sa city, botante sa mga probinsya maong nag-offsite ta (Because most youngsters in the city are voters in the province, we are going off-site),” Castillano said.
Castillano also reminded the public that registration is only unavailable on Sundays so they can make use of Saturdays off work and school to register. (FREEMAN)