MANILA, July 14 (PNA) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is ramping up its mall-based voter registration following the success of the conduct of trial listing in several malls in Metro Manila in the last two weekends.
With this, Comelec Chairman Jose Andres Bautista reported that the registration held last weekend (July 11 and 12) exceeded the number of participants during the initial conduct of mall registration last July 4-5.
“Our weekend mall registration, ‘No bio, No boto’ campaign…the second weekend exceeded the performance of the first weekend and therefore we tend to ramp up our operations in this regard from today (July 14) until the end of July,” he said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
Over 5,000 individuals went to the Ayala and SM Malls during the pilot testing of the satellite voter registration and validation booths inside malls early this month.
“Mas tumaas itong ating second weekend… Kaya nga dahil dito itutulak natin itong ‘No bio, No boto campaign not only here in Metro Manila but in provinces all over the country — Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete, small cities and municipalities like Gapan (Nueva Ecija), Angat (Bulacan), Calamba (Laguna),” the poll body chief said.
Bautista noted that they expect that many people will go to the malls to register as at least 48 malls nationwide are going to participate in the “No bio, no boto” campaign.
“There will be more than 48 malls nationwide that will be participating and these are the malls of Robinsons, SM, Waltermart, Gaisano, Ayala and even Lucky Chinatown Mall,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Comelec chief reiterated the advantages of allowing voters to vote inside malls during elections.
“We are looking at this possibility; there have been preliminary studies made. I think this step is in the right direction, this would enhance the voting experience of our voters,” he said.
Bautista added, “It’s a win-win in several aspects. As you know, everybody would like to vote in an air-conditioned place. There will be no power issues in terms of electricity or generators that are on standby…I think the security would be better, it is well lighted…in case there will be lines the voters can go first to a book store or have merienda. So we see many advantages in doing this although not everybody will be able to vote in a mall.”
He said that part of the plan is for precincts, which are near the mall, will be covered by the project.
Earlier, Robinsons Land Corporation president Frederick Go announced that the 42 Robinsons malls nationwide are ready to be designated as voting centers for the 2016 polls. (PNA)