Commission on Elections chairman George Garcia and Commissioner Ernesto Maceda Jr. on Monday observed the voters' registration in Pag-Asa Island in Kalayaan, Palawan.
Around 50 residents lined up to register as voters of the island.
Some of them will be voting for the first time while others applied to transfer their registration from other municipalities of Palawan.
There are more than 500 registered voters in the area at present.
\They were welcomed by Kalayaan Mayor Roberto del Mundo and AFP Western Command chief, Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos.
According to Garcia, his visit to Pag-asa Island symbolizes the importance of voters’ registration and encouraging Filipinos to participate in the polls.
“Marapat lamang na maipakita ng Comelec na kaya naming puntahan ang kahit saang parte ng ating bansa,” Garcia said.
The visit of Comelec’s highest official also underlines the country’s strong claim over Kalayaan Island Group in the Spratlys, he said.
“Wala namang kaduda-duda na ang kinatatayuan nating lupang ito ay lupa at pag-aari ng Pilipinas,” Garcia said.
According to the AFP Western Command, the aircraft carrying Comelec officials and members of the media—an Airbus C295 of the Philippine Air Force—received a radio challenge from Chinese forces before landing in Pag-asa Island.
Ana Marie Dolatre, a public school teacher, said she has applied to transfer of residence to Pag-asa in order to allow her to vote in the island.
“Bilang teacher, napakalaking karangalan na makapagturo po sa isla ng Pag-asa at proud na botante ako ng Pag-asa, Kalayaan,” she said.
The Comelec has called on Filipinos to register early and not to wait for the deadline of registration on September 30, 2024. —NB, GMA Integrated News