Voter registration should be extended at least for another month as it would not go against the law nor would it affect any other aspects of election preparation.

Danilo Arao, convenor of election watchdog Kontra Daya, stressed that although the extension of registration hours have been extended from 8AM to 5PM, to 8AM to 7PM and opened registration during weekends, the deadline for it was not extended. He added that the deadline should be extended as it would be sorely needed by registrants affected by the lockdowns.

“Kasi tandaan natin, hindi lang isang buwan ang nasayang na panahon ng wala ang registration, lalo na sa mga nakapasok sa MECQ, ECQ, GCQ and etc. Sa isa aral ng Rappler, walong buwan at least sa Metro Manila, sa NCR ang nasayang.” says Arao in the latest episode of PressOne.ph’s podcast “The Press Room”.

(Because remember it wasn’t just one month of time that was wasted from not having the registration, especially for the ones that were put in MECQ, ECQ, GCQ etc. In one study from Rappler, at least eight months within Metro Manila, in the NCR was wasted.)

“May flexibility sa pagsasagawa ng timeline para sa registration, kasi ang nasa Saligang Batas naman, magiging strict tayo sa interpretation, yung araw ng halalan yun non-negotiable. Kasi May 9 dapat siya 2022, kaya lang sa usapin ng deadline, nasa prerogative naman yan ng Comelec (The Commissions of Election) and through the years may pagkakataon ng nakapag overlap naman minsan ang filing ng candidacy at yung mismong registration na isinasagawa” Arao explains.

(There is flexibility for making a timeline for the registration, because it is in the law, we will be strict with the interpretation, it is the day of the election that is non negotiable. Because it’s supposed to be on May 9, 2022, but when it comes to talking about the deadline, it is in the prerogative of the Comelec and through the years there were times that they were sometimes able to overlap the filing for candidacy with the registration itself.)

However, Arao noted that the registration shouldn’t be extended until April or May but should be extended for at least a month or until January to take into consideration the lost registration days due to quarantine restrictions imposed in different areas in the country. – Joshua Babasa