By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has suspended the resumption of the voter registration in some areas in Batangas and Cavite affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez announced this on Friday, January 17, before the January 20 start of the voter registration period for the May 2022 polls.
“Recent events have forced us to suspend the resumption of registration in 25 other places,” he said in a press briefing.
The poll official said these areas in Batangas are Agoncillo, Alitagtag, Balete, Laurel, Lemery, Mataas na Kahoy, San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Taal and Talisay.
According to Jimenez, registration was suspended in the said areas as it is near the 14 kilometer danger zone.
Other areas in Batangas where voter registrations will also be suspended are Balayan, Calaca, Calatagan, Cuenca, Lian, Lipa City, Mabini, San Luis and Tuy.
“These areas are not affected directly by the volcano erupting but by the resulting ashfall and earthquakes that have happened on occasion of the eruption,” said Jimenez.
As for Cavite, there will be no registration in Alfonso, Tagaytay City, Amadeo, Indang, and Silang.
Jimenez said the said areas were also affected such as its power supply and roads.
Registration was also suspended in Makilala, North Cotabato by the poll body.
Jimenez cited the earthquake that happened there last month.
“Facilities have been damaged or wrecked because of the earthquake so we cannlt reasonably provide registration services at this time,” he said.
When asked when the voter registration will resume in said areas, Jimenez said it will be contingent on the ability of the said places to recover, to return to normalcy.
“We expect in some places recovery will proceed faster than in others. So, resumption will come sooner rather than in others,” he said.
Earlier, the Comelec already annouced that there will be no voter registration in 23 municipalities of Palawan because of the upcoming plebscite there.
As for the rest of the country, the Comelec said registration will push through on Monday, January 20.
“It will run until September 30, 2021. This gives us approximately 20 month registration period which is a relatively long time for us to register.” said Jimenez.