Gov’t won’t postpone registration for overseas voters amid COVID-19 outbreak
MANILA, Philippines — Government will not suspend the registration of overseas voters for the May 2022 elections amid the COVID -19 outbreak, officials from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.
“Wala kaming suspension so tuloy tuloy ang voter registration para sa overseas voters,” Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon told reporters at the sidelines of the DFA-Comelec Workshop for the 2022 elections in Manila when asked if the overseas voter registration will be postponed amid the COVID-19 threat, which is now considered a global health issue.
(We won’t suspend so the voter registration will still continue for overseas voters.)
Brigido Dulay, DFA Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns, said COVID-19 will not be an issue for voter registration as most Filipinos in other countries are “living normally.”
“Karamihan naman ng bansa, hanggang ngayon, tuloy naman ang normal na pamumuhay. Kasama yung pag-aalis ng mga tao, hindi naman naging balakid ang problema,” the DFA official told reporters in Manila.
(Most of the countries, until now, their residents live normally. People are still going outside of their homes. The COVID-19 did not become an issue.)
Dulay also noted that COVID-19 will not limit the number of registrants overseas, saying DFA personnel in various Philippine consulates and embassies are allowed to urge Filipinos overseas to register.
Under Comelec Resolution No. 10619, the registration of overseas Filipino voters will run from Dec. 16, 2019, until Sept. 30 next year.
As of Thursday, Guanzon said there are 40,878 overseas voter applicants.
China’s Wuhan, Hubei province still on lockdown
As China’s Hubei province and Wuhan City are still on lockdown because of the COVID-19 threat, Dulay said voter registration in these areas will not be conducted, said Dulay.
“Sumusunod tayo sa patakaran ng gobyerno. Sa ngayon, ang lugar ng Wuhan at Hubei, bawal pa tayo pumasok dun, may restriction,” he said.
(We are following the government’s protocol and as of now, we cannot enter Wuhan and Hubei province in China because of the restriction.)
But Dulay said that as voter registration will continue until next year, registrants in Wuhan and Hubei will be accommodated once the lockdown on these two areas are lifted.
Edited by MUF
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