THE Davao City government has excluded the voter’s registration in the government activities that are prohibited as stated in the Executive Order (EO) No. 30, an official from the Commission on Elections-Davao Region (Comelec-Davao) said.
Voter’s registration in the city started on June 1 in time when Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio issued “An Order Regulating All Barangay, Local, and National Government Offices, including Government-owned and Controlled Corporation Events”, which takes effect until August 31.
Lawyer Gay Enumerables, Comelec-Davao assistant regional director, said their office wrote to the city mayor earlier this month requesting for the exemption of voter’s registrations in the regulated government activities stated in the EO.
“Very positive ang ilahang tubag sa amoa nga pwede nami makabalik sa among (They were very positive to our request allowing us for the resumption of) registration for Davao City. Naa nami exemption atong executive order nga gi-issue ni (We have been granted exemption from the EO issued by) Mayor [Sara],” Enumerables said in a virtual presser.
However, Enumerables said the entire Comelec offices in the region, including Davao City, remain suspended following the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases until July 15.
According to the Comelec guidelines, all transactions in areas under enhanced community quarantine and MECQ are temporarily suspended and all employees are under work from home scheme to avoid mass gatherings in their offices.
From 2020 until June 30, 2021, the Comelec had already processed a total of 247,246 applications, including new registrations, reactivation of voter’s accounts, and transfer of polling precincts.
She said they hope that the MECQ status will be lifted after July 15 so they can continue to process the pending applications.
Comelec offices in Davao City have remained closed for transactions since June 5, the day the MECQ status in the city took effect.
Enumerables said they are worried considering the registration for the 2022 elections will end on September 30, 2021.
She added that they are expecting a huge influx of registrants once the quarantine status in the region would relax.
The official said they might resort to limiting the number of registrants by issuing a cutoff system.
“Para dili magtapok ang mga tao. Delikado sa pagkakaron (This is to avoid crowding in our offices. It is very dangerous at this moment) because we know, surging gihapon ang cases. Although naa na tay nabakunahan, pero dili pa tanan (cases continue to surge. While the vaccine rollout is already ongoing, not everyone has been vaccinated),” Enumerables said.
She said Comelec already conducted satellite registration in areas where there are no recorded new Covid-19 cases for the past 14 days. This does not include Davao City considering it is a high risk locality of the pandemic.
With this situation, the official said they noted low registration turnout due to imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
As for the guidelines on the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) this October, they are still waiting for the final details from the central office.
She, however, said it will not be as festive as in the past as they will limit the number of individuals who can witness the candidate’s filing of COC.