TACLOBAN CITY – With voter registration resuming on February 12th, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is intensifying its efforts to bolster voter turnout in the upcoming 2025 midterm polls.

The Comelec has launched various initiatives to facilitate registration for eligible voters nationwide.

The ‘Register Anywhere Program’ (RAP) allows voters to register in their respective municipalities or cities, regardless of their current residence.

This initiative, which runs until August 31 of this year, primarily targets larger population clusters in select capital cities, towns, and highly urbanized areas.

RAP sites have been established within the region in the cities of Tacloban, Ormoc, Borongan, and Catbalogan and in the provincial capitals of Naval in Biliran, and Catarman in Northern Samar.

Satellite sites were also set up in malls and other institutions.

Eligible voters residing anywhere in the Philippines can submit their application forms along with the necessary documentary requirements and have their biometrics captured onsite.
Notably, there are no additional documents required for registration through the RAP.

It was initially pilot-tested during the registration period for last year’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections and is now in full swing nationwide.

The RAP primarily targets workers residing outside their registered municipality or city and aims to simplify the registration process.

The Comelec is also organizing voter education and registration fairs in schools across the region. These fairs, specifically targeting senior high school and university students, aim to increase voter participation among the youth.

Students who will turn 18 by the time of the elections are highly encouraged to register. Three fairs have been conducted so far: at the UP Tacloban College (February 26), Visayas State University (March 5) in Baybay City, and the University of Eastern Philippines (March 14-15) in Catarman, respectively.

The RAP was also established at the venue to make registration more convenient for unregistered voters during the fair.

In an interview, city elections officer, lawyer Ma. Goretti Cañas also highlighted the efforts of the Comelec in anticipation of vote-buying.

“The Comelec is really working on it. In fact, nag start na kita han Kontra Bigay, and we’ve already sought the assistance of the Department of Justice,” she said.

Cañas also encouraged voters to register earlier to avoid the sudden surge in registrants during the last month of registration. The registration period lasts from February 12 to September 30, 2024.