Filipinos urged to vote in 2016 polls
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday urged Filipinos to vote in the 2016 presidential elections.
Binay made the appeal following the statement of Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez that at least 9.6 million of the 53 million registered voters in the country stand to be disenfranchised if they fail to undergo biometrics registration before November 1, 2015.
“Our right to suffrage is one of the hallmarks of the democracy we fought so hard to attain. It is our responsibility to ensure that we get to exercise this right,” said Binay who has openly admitted his plan to seek the presidency in 2016.
Republic Act (RA) 10367 mandates all registered voters whose biometrics have not been captured to submit themselves for validation with the Comelec.
According to RA 10367, biometrics refers to the “quantitative analysis that provides a positive identification of an individual such as voice, photograph, fingerprint, signature, iris and/or such other identifiable features.”
Biometrics registration, which aims to curb double-registration and multiple voting, will start on May 6 and end on October 31, 2015.
The Vice President thanked the Comelec for opening its offices on Sundays to accommodate voters who are unavailable to register during weekdays.
“I am thankful that Comelec took into consideration our kababayans who work from Monday to Friday and made it convenient for them to register,” Binay said in a statement.
“With Comelec offices open on Sundays, there should be no more excuses to miss biometrics registration,” he added.
He also requested the Comelec to make sure their offices are accessible to persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens.
“If the offices are on higher floors, maybe they can provide registration desks on the ground floor to accommodate PWDs and senior citizens who may have difficulty in walking,” he said.
Philippine citizens who are at least 18 years old on or before May 9, 2016 are eligible to vote in the 2016 presidential elections.