TACLOBAN CITY – Six offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Eastern Visayas are set to participate in the “register anywhere” program, as the agency resumes voter registration in preparation for the 2025 midterm elections.
This move coincides with the resumption of voter registration, which commences on Monday (Feb.12), and will run until September 30 of this year.
The participating Comelec offices are strategically located in the capital cities and key towns across the six provinces of the region. These offices include those in Maasin City, Southern Leyte; Tacloban City, Leyte; Catbalogan City, Samar; Borongan City, Eastern Samar; and the provincial capitals of Naval, Biliran, and Catarman, Northern Samar.
The “register anywhere” program is scheduled to kick off on February 26, with an official launch event slated to take place at the University of the Philippines Tacloban campus.
“We aim to provide people, especially those who are not yet registered, with the opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” stated lawyer Jose Nick Mendros, the Comelec regional director.
The primary targets of this program are eligible individuals of voting age who reside in different localities due to work or study commitments.
For instance, students from Biliran province studying in Tacloban City or workers from Eastern Samar employed in Samar province can now register without the need to return to their hometowns.
Mendros emphasized that this program addresses the barriers preventing some Filipinos from participating in elections.
Under the “register anywhere” program, the application forms submitted by registrants will be forwarded by the poll personnel to the respective Comelec office where the registrant wishes to be listed.
“We advocate for an inclusive election, ensuring that all eligible voters can exercise their right to vote,” Mendros explained.
Comelec will accept registrations from individuals who will turn 18 on or before May 12, 2025, the scheduled date of next year’s mid-term election.
As part of the program, Comelec offices in the region will conduct voter education campaigns and registration fairs in state universities, colleges, and selected private schools across the region.
Institutions such as the University of the Philippines Tacloban, Visayas State University in Baybay City, Southern Leyte State University in Sogod, and Saint Joseph College in Maasin City are among those included.
Applicants for voter registration are advised to bring their birth certificates and valid identification cards to the election office where they intend to submit their registration forms.
Comelec offices operate from Monday to Friday, even on holidays, except for Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA)