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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Bill strengthening voter registration, institutionalizing online registration system OK'd on 3rd reading
06 March 2023 05:40:03 PM

A measure seeking to institutionalize the online registration of
voters and strengthen the voter registration process as a whole has
been passed on third and final reading in the House of

Approved on the strength of 307 affirmative votes against one during nominal voting on Monday was House Bill (HB) No. 7241.

The bill amends Sections 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 22, 23, 24, 29, 32,
33, and 45 of Republic Act (RA) No.8189, otherwise known as the
"Voter's Registration Act of 1996".

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, one of the principal authors,
said “the proposed statute aims to encourage a system of registration
that ensures and guarantees a clean, complete, permanent, and updated
list of voters.”

Speaker Romualdez said it aims to encourage and ensure a continuing
system of voter registration, the state shall adopt and make use of
technologies that shall facilitate and allow the automated and online
registration of voters as an option, taking into account the
integrity, completeness, and accuracy of the list of voters.

Other authors of the bill are House Majority Leader Manuel Jose
“Mannix” M. Dalipe Tingog Party-list Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez
and Jude Acidre, Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, CIBAC
Party-list Rep. Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva, and Cavite Rep. Lani
Mercado Revilla.

Under what would be the amended language of RA No.8189, a qualified
voter shall be registered in the permanent list of voters in a
precinct of the city or municipality where the voter resides to be
able to vote in any election.

To register as a voter, the applicant shall personally or
electronically accomplish an application form for registration as
prescribed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and personally
submit the accomplished form to the office of the election officer of
the city or municipality where the voter resides on any date during
office hours, or through the official website of the Comelec.

"The application for registration may be submitted personally or
electronically and shall be processed in accordance with Republic Act
No.10367, titled 'An Act providing for mandatory biometrics voter
registration' at the expense of the Commission," it added.

It further said that before the applicant accomplishes the application
for registration, the Election Officer shall inform the applicant of
the qualifications and disqualifications prescribed by law for a
voter, and thereafter, see to it that the accomplished application
contains all the data therein required and that the applicant’s
specimen signatures, fingerprints, and photographs are properly
affixed in the voter’s application.

"In case of online submission or application for registration by an
applicant, the Commission shall send a notice confirming its receipt
of the application and provide instructions on how the applicant may
check the status of the application," the amended RA No. 8189 read.

For voters who will change their residence to another Barangay, they
may apply with the Election Officer of the city or municipality in
which the voter's new residence is located for the transfer of the
voter’s registration records.

"No transfer of a voter's registration to another barangay shall be
allowed within 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a
special election," the bill said.

It further said that any voter who has changed address which shall not
fall under a change in barangay as provided for under Section 12 of
this Act shall immediately notify the Election Officer in writing.

"If the change of address involves a change in the precinct, the Board
shall transfer the registration record to the book of voters of the
new precinct and notify the voter of the new precinct. All changes of
address shall be reported to the office of the provincial election
supervisor and the Commission in Manila," it added. (END)