Over a hundred colleges, universities, and organizations in the Philippines are petitioning the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to rethink its previous decision to maintain the voter registration deadline on September 30 by extending it until October 31, 2021.

The 105-member group said that the extension is when public quarantine restrictions would be eased and individuals will be able to move about in somewhat greater safety.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding community quarantines of the past 18 months – particularly their concomitant adverse effects on health and livelihood – have posed innumerable, exigent, basic-needs challenges to our people as never before,” they said in an issued joint statement.

“Pressed by anxiety over immediate existential concerns, many Filipinos have not been afforded the time and mental leeway to register to vote. Even those not immediately threatened existentially are dissuaded from responding to COMELEC’s registration drives owing to the risks of catching the disease, the uncertainty of getting effective treatment, and the need to adjust to changing public quarantine guidelines in what is a rapidly developing situation,” they added.

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According to the organization, although improvement in vaccination rates is promising, it is relatively recent and fails to address the dangers for the majority of people. It fails, in particular, to soothe the health worries of millions of younger would-be voters who are not among the priority sectors for immunization.

In light of this reality, they urge COMELEC to exercise the utmost flexibility and human understanding in its decisions in order to provide all eligible Filipino citizens with the opportunity to exercise their most fundamental and sacred right in a democracy – the right to choose their government representatives.

“We commend the COMELEC for using satellite sites such as school campuses, shopping malls, and other public and private institutions to facilitate voter registration. But with so many eligible Filipinos still unregistered, it is reasonable to increase not only the number of satellite sites but also the number of voter registration days,” they said.

“We note that the cut-off date for voter registration in 2010, 2013, and 2016 was October 31. If an exigency justifies an extension, then certainly this once-in-a-lifetime crisis is one that calls for it,” they added.

They stated that they are appealing to the Commission to reconsider its decision on behalf of Filipino youth who are just coming of age and will be first-time voters in the 2022 elections, explaining that they should be given the opportunity to exercise their civic duty and demonstrate their love for country.

Citizens should not be asked to choose between risking their health and fulfilling their constitutional duty.

  1. ADAMSON UNIVERSITY
  2. AKLAN STATE UNIVERSITY
  3. ANTIPOLO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
  4. ARAULLO UNIVERSITY
  5. ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS IN PUBLIC PRACTICE (ACPAPP)
  6. ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND UNIVERSITIES (ACSCU)
  7. ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY
  8. ATENEO DE NAGA UNIVERSITY
  9. ATENEO DE ZAMBOANGA UNIVERSITY
  10. BALIUAG UNIVERSITY
  11. BICOL UNIVERSITY
  12. CAGAYAN DE ORO COLLEGE
  13. CAPITOL UNIVERSITY
  14. CATHOLIC EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (CEAP)
  15. CEBU BUSINESS CLUB (CBC)
  16. CEBU LEADS FOUNDATION (CLF)
  17. CENTRAL BICOL STATE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE
  18. CENTRAL LUZON COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
  19. CENTRO ESCOLAR LAS PINAS
  20. CENTRO ESCOLAR UNIVERSITY
  21. CHAMBER OF THRIFT BANKS (CTB)
  22. CIBI FOUNDATION, INC.
  23. COORDINATING COUNCIL OF PHILIPPINE EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS (COCOPEA)
  24. DAVAO ORIENTAL STATE UNIVERSITY
  25. DE LA SALLE PHILIPPINES
  26. DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY
  27. EAST ASIA COMPUTER CENTER, INC
  28. EMILIO AGUINALDO COLLEGE
  29. FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY
  30. FEDERATION OF PHILIPPINE INDUSTRIES (FPI)
  31. FEU ALABANG
  32. FEU CAVITE
  33. FEU HIGH SCHOOL
  34. FEU PUBLIC POLICY
  35. FEU ROOSEVELT
  36. FILIPINA CEO CIRCLE (FCC)
  37. FINANCIAL EXECUTIVES INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES (FINEX)
  38. FINEX RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, INC.
  39. FINTECH ALLIANCE PH
  40. GUILD OF REAL ESTATE ENTREPRENEURS AND PROFESSIONALS, INC. (GREENPRO)
  41. HOLY ANGEL UNIVERISITY
  42. INSTITUTE OF CORPORATE DIRECTORS (ICD)
  43. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (IPAP)
  44. INVESTMENT HOUSE ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (IHAP)
  45. JOSE RIZAL UNIVERSITY
  46. JUDICIAL REFORM INITIATIVE (JRI)
  47. LYCEUM OF THE PHILIPPINES
  48. MAKATI BUSINESS CLUB (MBC)
  49. MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (MAP)
  50. MANILA TYTANA COLLEGES
  51. MANUEL S. ENVERGA UNIVERSITY
  52. MIRIAM COLLEGE
  53. NATIONAL REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION, INC. (NREA)
  54. NATIONAL TEACHERS COLLEGE
  55. NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
  56. NICANOR REYES EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
  57. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
  58. NUEVA ECIJA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
  59. PAMPANGA STATE AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY
  60. PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND UNIVERSITIES (PAPSCU)
  61. PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES (PACU)
  62. PHILIPPINE LIFE INSURANCE ASSOCIATION (PLIA)
  63. PHILIPPINE NORMAL UNIVERSITY
  64. PHILIPPINE RETAILERS ASSOCIATION (PRA)
  65. PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S ECONOMIC NETWORK (PHILWEN)
  66. PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY
  67. PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY – JASMS MANILA
  68. PHILIPPINE WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY – JASMS QUEZON CITY
  69. POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
  70. PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY INSTITUTE OF ASIA (PASIA)
  71. REPUBLICAN COLLEGE
  72. RIZAL COLLEGE OF LAGUNA
  73. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY
  74. SAINT MICHAEL’S COLLEGE OF LAGUNA
  75. SHAREHOLDERS’ ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (SHAREPHIL)
  76. SILIMAN UNIVERSITY
  77. SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY – PHINMA
  78. ST. JUDE COLLEGE
  79. ST. PAUL UNIVERSITY PHILIPPINES
  80. STI COLLEGE OF SANTA ROSA
  81. TARLAC AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY
  82. TARLAC STATE UNIVERSITY
  83. TAX MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (TMAP)
  84. TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES
  85. TECH-VOC SCHOOL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (TVSA)
  86. THE MANILA TIMES COLLEGE
  87. TOMAS CLAUDIO COLLEGES
  88. UNION COLLEGE OF LAGUNA
  89. UNIVERSITY OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
  90. UNIVERSITY OF BAGUIO
  91. UNIVERSITY OF BATANGAS
  92. UNIVERSITY OF CEBU
  93. UNIVERSITY OF ILOILO
  94. UNIVERSITY OF NORTEASTERN PHILIPPINES
  95. UNIVERSITY OF PANGASINAN
  96. UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM DALTA
  97. UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM JONELTA
  98. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHEASTERN MINDANAO
  99. UNIVERSITY OF THE EAST
  100. UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
  101. UNIVERSTITY OF SANTO TOMAS
  102. UNVERSITY OF SOUTHEASTERN PHILIPPINES
  103. WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY – PHILIPPINES
  104. WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL PHILIPPINES (WBCP)
  105. XAVIER UNIVERSITY – ATENEO DE CAGAYAN
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