Comelec eyes mall voting for barangay, SK polls

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 24) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is eyeing the possibility of mall voting for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSK) polls this October.

At the launch of the Register Anywhere Project (RAP) at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said voting inside malls will be more convenient for voters instead of going to schools.

READ: Comelec to launch Register Anywhere Booths in NCR

“Naisip na rin ng commission na kung kaya nating magpa-register, bakit hindi rin tayo mag-pilot test na yung barangay and SK election ng mall voting? Mas convenient sa kababayan natin, mas alam natin na pupunta sila sa mall at boboto sila,” the chairman said.

[Translation: The commission also thought that if we can register, why don't we also pilot test the barangay and SK election of mall voting? It is more convenient for our countrymen, we know more that they will go to the mall and they will vote.]

“Hindi pa natin gagamitin ang mga eskwelahan para hindi nasisira ang gamit ng kabataan. At the same time, mas maayos ang pagboto ng ating mga kababayan kahit pumipila sila,” he added.

[Translation: We will not use the schools yet so that the youth's equipment are not damaged. At the same time, our countrymen can vote more smoothly even if they queue up.]

READ: Comelec 100% ready, no more reason to postpone BSK polls

Under RAP, voter registration sites will be set up in convenient locations, such as government offices and malls. First-time voters, as well as those who wish to reactivate their records can register on-site.

Those who seek to apply for a transfer of registration—from overseas to local or from another city or district—can also do so through RAP.

The RAP site at the House of Representatives will receive applications until Friday, Jan. 27.

Garcia said the Comelec aims to receive around 1.5 million applications by the end of the voter registration period on Jan. 31.

So far, he said 1.1 million applications have been submitted to the Comelec.

Comelec earlier dismissed the call for extension of poll registration for this year’s BSK elections.

READ: Comelec: New voters for barangay, SK polls reach 1M; extension unlikely

Meanwhile, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said the chamber will seek guidance from the Comelec on pending electoral reform bills. He said there are certain “antiquated” electoral laws that must be amended to reflect changing times and evolving technologies.

“The passage of an enabling law to strengthen public participation will be our topmost priority here in Congress as we would like citizens’ involvement in government activities,” Romualdez said.