Iloilo City COMELEC targets 10-12K new voters

(Photo courtesy of Ron Obligado via Comelec Iloilo City FB)

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) office in Iloilo City is looking to register an additional 10,000 to 12,000 new voters for the upcoming 2025 National and Local Elections (NLE).

Along this line, the City Election Office held its satellite voters’ registration activity at the Festive Walk Mall from March 14 to 15.

The polling body’s local office catered to new voters, transfer of records, application for reactivation of voters who failed to vote in the two most recent elections, and correction of entries for misspelled names and married women.

It also started catering to the Register Anywhere Program, where non-residents may register to vote in their place of residence, with the election office here sending their records to that in their current locality.

Election Assistant II Jonathan Sayno informed Daily Guardian on Air that as of March 14, approximately 2,700 individuals had registered since February 12.

In addition to this, another registration event is planned for Ticud village in La Paz district.

Sayno admitted that the registration is the most difficult part of their work before the elections, citing the numerous registrants that they must manage every day.

“The heaviest part of election work is voter’s registration because there are many people [to entertain]. After the filing of the [certificates of candidacy], and finalization of the official ballots based on [those] filed, we will just follow the calendar of activities. We will wait for when it comes out before filing so that our work will be systematized to conduct elections next year,” he said.

He encouraged the public to register early so that they may avoid the rush when the September 30 deadline gets nearer.

“It’s better to register with the COMELEC earlier so that we will not have a hard time [registering]. Let’s not wait for the time closer to the deadline. Based on our experience, there will be more people [as the deadline gets nearer] and it would be more difficult to cater to everyone,” Sayno said.

Sayno also addressed worries on double registration, saying that the office where the voter is currently registered would be informed of the application for transfer, and would order deleting the voter’s record from their own rolls.

He also cited their automated fingerprint identification system, which is a tool where fingerprints would be used to check if there is indeed double registration in their records.

“We have the other record deleted so that their name in the list [of voters] would only appear once,” he said of their tool.

The Iloilo City COMELEC’s data, based on the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, which was the most recent, indicated that there are 333,470 registered voters in Iloilo City.

The 2025 NLE will be held across the country on May 12, 2025, where the people will be given a chance to elect their Senators for the next 6 years until 2031, and their local officials, including representatives, for the next 3 years until 2028.