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Senate OKs on 2nd reading bill extending voter registration to Oct. 31

The Senate approved on second reading the bill seeking to extend the voter registration period for the 2022 national and local elections to October 31, 2021.

Senate Bill 2408 was approved in the upper chamber during Wednesday's session.

The bill was filed last Monday and sponsored on the plenary Tuesday afternoon. All members of the Senate supported the measure except for Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

In filing the bill, the senators pointed out that the Commission on Elections had set the September 30, 2021 deadline before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred.

The lawmakers said due to the quarantine restrictions, around 28.3% of the entire registration period in the country was suspended.

Leaders of the House of Representatives have also joined calls for the extension of the voter registration.

House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, and Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano filed House Bill 10261 seeking to compel the Commission on Elections to extend the September 30 deadline of voter registration until next month.

They said the extension aims to prevent massive voter disenfranchisement brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and pointed out that it is important for every qualified Filipino to cast his/her vote and choose the country’s next leaders.

The Comelec earlier rejected the proposal to move the deadline to October 31, 2021 but it has extended the voter registration hours.—AOL, GMA News