The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has shortened the hours of registration and ordered the suspension of satellite registration starting March 22 due to the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
The poll body made the decision after Malacañang on Friday issued a memorandum circular, directing all national government agencies and instrumentalities located in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas to adopt a skeleton workforce from a minimum of 30 percent to a maximum of 50 percent operational capacity from March 22 to April 4 to contain the spread of the virus.
In a statement on Saturday evening, the Comelec said applications for registration will be accepted from Mondays to Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all Offices of the Elections Officer (OEOs).
The Comelec, however, said issuance of voter’s certification will be until 5 p.m.
“The designated disinfection day is Friday. However, in case the local government unit concerned prescribes a disinfection day other than Friday, the OEO will able to close to the public in such day, in addition to the Comelec prescribed disinfection day,” it said.
The conduct of satellite registration in barangay halls, day care centers, covered courts and other satellite offices nationwide will likewise be suspended until further notice.
At the same time, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez reminded applicants that minimum health standard protocols are strictly being implemented in local poll body offices to ensure safety of everyone.
“The public is reminded that health and safety protocols will continue to be strictly positive implemented in all Comelec offices. Wearing of face mask and face shield is mandatory,” he said.
To minimize physical contact, Jimenez encouraged applicants to register via online at irehistro.comelec.gov.ph.
“Those who have prior appointments on days where voter registration is no longer conducted are advised to contact their OEO for instructions on rebooking,” he said.
Previously, voter registration was conducted from Tuesdays to Saturdays, including holidays from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The nationwide voter registration for the May 2022 elections started in September last year and will end on Sept. 30, 2021.