Chiz bats for registration extension

August 30, 2009 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the registration of new voters up to December give more of the youth the opportunity to vote in the May 2010 elections.

“The youth is not apathetic as some would want to portray them, because it is they who will inherit this country,” the 39-year-old senator said at a student forum held at the University of the East.

“If some of them are apathetic, then it is government that has failed to inspire them to register and vote,” Escudero added.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has reported that only 800,000 new voters have registered, with the deadline set on October 31.

While the Comelec has targeted the registration of three million new voters this year, there may be as many as five million who could qualify if the deadline is moved to December.

Escudero, who is chairman of the Senate electoral reforms committee, said the low turnout so far should also convince the Comelec to establish more registration centers in schools, barangay halls and other public facilities.

He also lamented the low turnout among new overseas absentee voters, even as he called on the Comelec to step up information campaigns as well set up mobile registration units in countries where there are huge Filipino expatriate populations.

Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) indicated that only about 175,000 Filipinos abroad have registered for next year’s polls. This was way below the DFA target of at least one million by the end of August.

Entry filed under: News.

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