COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez (File photo)

Top officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) are set to convene to discuss calls to extend the voter registration until next month.

In a virtual briefing Friday, COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body en banc will meet next week regarding the matter.

“I would just like to make an announcement in response to the public clamor for an extension of the voter registration period. Chairman Sheriff Abas is going to convene a management committee (ManCom) meeting participated by all top Comelec officials,” he said.

“The ManCom (management committee) will discuss the possible impact of the voter registration extension on our preparations for the 2022 National and Local Elections,” the poll body official added.

He said the ManCom will recommend what would be the poll body’s next move as far as the extension of the deadline is a concern.

“The ManCom will be a consultation essentially with all Comelec field officials and Comelec top officials in the main office. We will talk about the logistics of getting this extension done. We will talk about how long an extension is possible and then a recommendation will be drafted by the ManCom and submitted to the en banc and the en banc will make promulgation hopefully on the 29th,” Jimenez added.

Asked what are the logistical problems for an extension, he said the biggest logistical problem is the filing period for COCs (Certificates of Candidacy), which is set from Oct. 1 to 8.

“So that is the first thing that is what we are going to discuss. Obviously, the period for filing of COCs is pretty fixed. That is probably the largest logistical problem but we are also looking at the impact on our preparations. We are looking at how our timelines could be crushed in order to make room for this extension,” he added.

Jimenez said a similar extension of the registration deadline was also approved in 2016 by the Supreme Court.

“It was I think in 2016 if I am not mistaken and the extension was mandated by a Supreme Court decision. A case was brought before the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court mandated an extension. I think that was an extension of about two weeks,” he added.

On Friday, a measure seeking to extend the voter registration deadline for the May 2022 national and local elections from Sept. 30 to Oct. 31 this year hurdled committee level at the House of Representatives.

The nationwide voter registration is set to end on September 30. (PNA)

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