Comelec to extend daily operations to 12 hours

MANILA, Oct 7 (PNA) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has extended from eight to 12 hours its operations in the last 15 days of the registration period for the May 2016 polls.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they will be operating 12/7 starting October 17 until October 31, the last day of the registration as part of their “Huling Hirit” campaign.

“We want to maintain a 12-hour shift. We are looking at 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day from October 17 to 31… pwede naman 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Basta gusto namin ay 12 hours,” he said.

At present, Comelec offices nationwide are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

At the same time, Bautista is planning to open satellite registration centers for those with high number of applicants, as he directed their local election officers to identify several venues in every city or province for the purpose of putting up these centers.

“These are malls, schools, auditoriums, gymnasiums, etc. that will host the registration for two weeks. We are looking to close election offices that are small, cramped, and are inconvenient,” he explained.

But, the poll body chief noted that local election offices that are already capable of handling the number of voters will remain at the Offices of Election Officers (OEOs).

Bautista noted that additional personnel from the central office have been tapped to help in areas with a high number of applicants.

The Comelec is hoping to register over two million voters that are still without biometrics in order to avoid being disenfranchised. (PNA)