The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not extend the deadline of voter registration for the 2022 national elections despite the Covid-19-induced lockdowns.

Last week, several lawmakers and groups called on the poll body to extend the registration to “prevent voter disenfranchisement brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“The [Commission en] Banc – citing concerns about the timeline of preparations for the 2022 national and local elections, as well as significant continuing apprehensions about the health and safety of the public and of Comelec personnel – decided against extending the voter registration period beyond Sept. 31, 2021,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said in a statement.

To accommodate more registrations, Jimenez said the Comelec decided to extend the voter registration hours instead.

“[T]he en banc also unanimously approved the extension of voter registration hours, as well as the opening of voter registration on Saturdays and holidays, for the remainder of the voter registration period,” he said.

Voter registration is not permitted in areas under enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine.

In areas not under strict quarantine, voter registration hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays at the Offices of the Election Officers. Satellite registration sites are open on Saturdays. John Ezekiel J. Hirro