June 17, 2024

Bicol Express News

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1.1 million new voters in BSKE registration; Comelec reports

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has recorded 1.1 million new voters in the ongoing registration for the 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE).

According to Comelec Chairman George Garcia “The 1.1 million new voters and the 7,000 voter registration applications were processed under Comelec’s Register Anywhere Project (RAP).

Garcia added that the voter registration is set to end on January 3, while the RAP will only be conducted until Wednesday.

Garcia also reported that the Comelec has yet to seek from Congress a supplemental budget to increase the honoraria for teachers who will serve during the October electoral exercise.

Previously, Comelec asked Congress for an additional budget of P10 billion for the BSKE, but its approved budget was only P2.7 billion under this year’s national budget expenditure.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has given its casual employees access to voter registration machines (VRMs) during the continuing registration period. This is to address long lines of registrants.

In a resolution, Comelec authorized plantilla casual employees in areas where additional VRMs will be deployed to receive and process personal information from applicants, as well as provide access to VRMs for purposes of voter registration only.

The poll body came out with the said resolution after a recent assessment showed an insufficiency of VRMs and personnel authorized to operate the machines, causing long lines of client-registrants.

However, Comelec only allowed regular employees to handle and operate VRMs and act on matters requiring access to data information of registrants. Comelec clarified that the lack of VRMs and personnel to operate the machines contributed largely to long lines of applicants.

“In line with the objective to enhance voters’ registration experience, it is necessary to augment the existing number of VRMs and personnel allowed to operate in areas with the influx of registrants as determined by the Commission,” it said.

The Comelec directed its casual employees to execute and submit to the election officer a non-disclosure agreement to secure the confidentiality of all personal information of applicants.

Moreover, concerned election officers are ordered to take the casual employees under their immediate control and supervision of casual employees who will operate the VRMs.

The Commission issued the EOs to ensure that these employees perform their duties in accordance with laws and rules on voters’ registration.

Authorized casual employees will undergo extensive training from the information technology department on the proper handling of information in connection with the data privacy policy.