“Still low, but the interest is clear, and we expect in the next few days many will still register,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said about the number of voter applicants in a television interview Tuesday.
He said that the first day of the resumption of voter registration went very smoothly. Jimenez personally visited Manila, Pasay, and Taguig.
“It’s okay for the most part… social distancing was maintained,” he said.
He explained that the slowdown was due to people who arrived to register but did not download the form ahead of time.
“The form is available in our offices. But we encourage them to download ahead,” said Jimenez.
“They get a form and fill it up that takes them up to 30 minutes… that’s where the slowdown happens. But for the rest of the procedures, there’s no problem,” he noted.
Moreover, the election official pointed out that social distancing did not become a problem within the Comelec premises.
“Example in Makati, in the compound used by Comelec social distancing was good. But when you get to the street, which is not controlled by Comelec, there’s crowding. That’s why we are talking to local law enforcers to help us,” he said.
Regarding the report that Metro Manila mayors request Comelec to postpone the resumption of the voter registration, Jiminez said that the timing is “unfortunate.”
“It’s kinda late in the day because we already started. We have been talking about resuming registration for roughly four weeks now. And I think the timing is unfortunate,” he said.
“So we will see what happens when they see that request from the mayors. As far as the Comelec is concerned, we are a little keen in continuing the registration because it has been suspended for months,” added Jimenez.
Voter registration resumed throughout the country on Tuesday, except in areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or Modified ECQ.