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The electoral commission blinked first when they saw it on Tuesday, September 28, announced the decision to convene an en-banc session to approve Congress proposal to extend the deadline for registering voters by another 30 days.

The announcement was made in the Chamber of Representatives before the Congressmen were preparing to deliberate on the proposed 2022 budget of the electoral body.

The first district of Surigao del No rte Rep. Francisco Matugas II, who defended the Comelec budget, announced Comelec’s imminent decision.

“Before we proceed with the interpellation, I would like to ask permission, this August Chamber, all members of Congress and the public in general Good news to announce that Comelec will approve the renewal of voter registration until October 31st tomorrow. “Said Matugas, vice-chairman of the budget committee for funds.

He quipped:” I hope na wala na pong mag-interpellate sa budget Comelec. ” During the virtual plenary session, the commissioners of the electoral body, led by Chairman Sheriff Abas, were present; Commissioners Rowena V. Guanzon, Soccoro B. Inting, Marlon Casquejo and Antonio T. Kho Jr.

The House of Commons discussed the proposed Comelec budget of P 26.97 billion for the election year 2022.

Matugas said the Ministry of Budget and Administration cut Comelec’s original budget proposal by P15 billion.

Comelec’s upcoming decision to extend the registration deadline from September 30th to October 31st was apparently due to the adoption of a bill triggered by the House of Commons and the Senate requiring the extension.

Previously, election officials ignored resolutions by the two legislative chambers calling on Comelec to comply with the appeal for additional days for registration.

Legislators condemned the snub at Comelec when they warned of massive disenfranchisement of voters should the electoral body decide to close Congress entirely to ignore. They indicated that registration participation was low due to the public health threat posed by COVID-19.

Data from the Philippine Bureau of Statistics shows that 73 million voters are eligible to vote in the May 2022 elections.

Comelec reported that there were around 61 million registered voters in the country as of August 23. This could mean that by then there are around 12 million eligible Filipinos who have not yet registered.

Ref: https://mb.com.ph