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Voter registration being monitored after mayors asked for postponement —Año

The technical working group (TWG) of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is monitoring the situation in voter registration sites following calls for its postponement due to the COVID-19 threat, IATF vice chairperson and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday.

Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV on Wednesday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the TWG will make a recommendation to the IATF based on their observation.

“Bukas sa magaganap na meeting ng IATF ay mag-rereport ‘yung technical working group kung ano 'yung findings nila, kung ano ‘yung observation nila,” he said.

On the resumption of voter registration on Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Metro Manila mayors wanted the activity to be moved to January 2021.

Año said the IATF will seek the approval of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with the request.

“Ang Comelec ay isang constitutional body. Meron silang sariling calendar, schedule. Pero nire-request ng mga mayors kung pupuwede… para maiwasan ‘yung mga mass gathering sa ngayon,” he said.

“Titignan natin kung ano 'yung magiging sagot ng Comelec, kung pupuwede sana i-postpone muna to January kung hindi naman madi-derail ‘yung kanilang schedule,” he added.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Wednesday told Dobol B sa News TV in an interview the poll body will meet within the day to discuss the mayors' call.

According to Año, the Metro Manila mayors also aim to keep the momentum in the current downtrend of COVID-19 cases and focus on implementing interventions against the spread of the virus.

In a separate interview on Dobol B sa News TV, Metro Manila Council chairman Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said all Metro Manila mayors are pushing this request.

“Unanimously, inirekumenda ng Metro Manila Council o 17 mayors na kung puwede i-postpone muna itong ating voter registration ng January 1 hanggang naka-GCQ tayo,” he said.

The voter registration resumed on January 20 but was suspended from March 9 until March 31 due to the COVID-19 threat.

The Comelec further extended the suspension of voter registration many times amid quarantine restrictions. Registration finally resumed on Tuesday, though with some confusion.

The voter registration will end on September 30, 2021, in preparation for the May 2022 elections. —Joviland Rita/KG/RSJ, GMA News