- MITCH M. LIPA
Bacolod Election Officer, Atty. Kathrina Trinio-Caña, said yesterday that she prefers to hold the extended voter registration next month in malls.
The Commission on Elections en banc yesterday approved the registration extension from Oct. 11 to 30, since October 1-8 will be for the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy for the May 2022 Presidential and Local Elections.
Caña said she already received offers from the management of different malls in the city. She said she prefers to have it in the mall for an organized set-up and for the convenience of registrants, rather than holding it at the Bacolod Comelec office beside the BAYS Center.
She said that during the extension period, they will only cater to a maximum of 300 registrants every day since the Comelec personnel will render service from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The daily target includes 200 regular and 100 registrants in the priority lane.
Caña said she will focus first on the COC filing before making any schedule for the mall registration.
She said her office already sent copies of the guidelines to the different local political parties on the filing of COCs during the pandemic, to ensure that health protocols will be strictly followed.
Caña discourages spectators during the filing of COCs.
Any political party is discouraged to go to the Comelec in groups. Instead, they can arrange and assign time for individual candidates to proceed to Comelec and file COCs, and do away with a milling crowd, she stressed.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri thanked the Comelec “for hearing the call not just of Congress, but of our people” and extended the voter registration period.
Zubiri, author and sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, said that “judging by the packed lines at our registration sites, talagang gusto po ng maraming Pilipino na makaboto, and they deserve the chance to do so.”
The bill sought to extend the voter registration period for 30 days but Comelec announced that the extended registration will be held after the COC filing.
“We’re very happy with this decision. And I really hope our people take advantage of these extra weeks to get out, register, and eventually vote,” he added. — MML