The Commission on Elections has declared February 12 as the “National Voter’s Day,” in line with the start of voter registration period for the 2025 national and local elections.
“Comelec made this declaration of National Voter’s Day to emphasize the importance of being a registered voter and explain the processes of registration and elections to the Filipino people,” said Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia in a press statement Thursday.
The poll body earlier announced that the voter registration will be from February 12 to September 30.
On Feb. 12, all Comelec offices would hold various activities in celebration of the National Voter’s Day to promote and encourage awareness about voter’s registration.
The issuance of Voter’s Certification in all offices of the Election Officers, Comelec National Central File Division, and Comelec Office for Overseas Voting will be free of charge on Feb. 12.
Voters from vulnerable sectors including senior citizens, persons with disability, persons deprived of liberty, indigenous peoples, and members of indigenous cultural communities will continue to get their voter’s certification for free.
A Special Register Anywhere Program will be available in Plaza Roma, Intramuros, Manila, Baclaran Church, and other locations nationwide on Feb. 12.
The Comelec will participate in the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City on Feb. 25 to promote and encourage voter registration. It will also conduct various activities in Kalayaan Islands in Palawan.
In an interview with the reporters on Tuesday, Garcia said the Comelec can now focus solely on the preparations for the 2025 elections after suspending all proceedings related to the people's initiative.
“Nakikita nyo po ang ating itsura ngayon, medyo nakangiti ang inyong Commission on Elections. Kahit paano po medyo nawala sa aming dibdib yung napakabigat na trabaho na inaasahan natin kung magtuloy-tuloy ang pagtanggap natin ng lagda,” he said in Sandra Aguinaldo’s report on “24 Oras.”
(It’s a relief that we won’t be doing all the heavy work that is expected from us from gathering the signatures for the people’s initiative.)
Meanwhile, bidding continues on the machines that will be used in the election.
The ballot box of the lone bidder, Miru Systems, was tested earlier to see if it meets the requirements of the commission, particularly if it is durable and waterproof.
A pre-bidding conference was also held earlier for the Secure Electronic Transmission Services that will be used to transmit the election results.
The poll body assured there is no chance for the people's initiative to move forward for now. Garcia said they will keep the signatures that have been submitted, but also called for those who are behind the people's initiative to take them.
He added that the sheets containing almost 4,000 signatures were recovered in the province of Antique.—Jiselle Anne Casucian/Sherylin Untalan/AOL, GMA Integrated News