Pangasinan sees rise in voting population
By Danny O Sagun
Dagupan City (30) -- Pangasinan may see some 200,000 new voters, the provincial election supervisor disclosed Thursday in a media forum.
Lawyer Reddy Balarbar said the voting population of the province may reach some 1.6 million after the October 31 registration deadline, about a hundred thousand more than the number of voters in the 2007 elections.
He said that many new registrants were observed trooping to the municipal and city offices of the Commission on Elections in the past few days. "As usual maraming pumipila for the last minute," he noted during the KBP Forum at the Philippine Information Agency.
As of July, the province had 1,454,473 voters. There were 142,615 new registrants as of September 9. "Mga 200,000 aabot siguro," he said.
Comelec offices are open up to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays to accommodate new registrants, he said. On the last day of filing on October 31, the offices will be open up to midnight, he added.
He advised those who want their registration validated to do so after the elections next year in order to accommodate the new voters. "Puede naman silang bumoto next year kahit hindi sila nakapag-validate," he clarified.
Dagupan City election officer Remarque Ravanzo, for his part, said his office did not have problems as to availability of forms as the city government provides the needed help. Lack of forms was reported in some towns due to the influx of new voters but Balarbar said the matter was already addressed.
The city may see some 90,000 voters. Some 88,000 were already listed as of September, Ravanzo said.
Both election officers asked the public to give chance to the automated polls in answer to the problem on election fraud.
Voting is easier, they said. "Kailangan lang nilang i-shade in full yong oval at huwag silang bumoto ng sobra, ganon lang," Balarbar said.
He said that demo machines are scheduled to arrive after the registration to be used during the information dissemination campaign.
He asked candidates to refrain from direct or indirect campaigning after they have filed their certificates of candidacy. Airing of Infomercials, posting of tarpaulins and other forms of campaigning are prohibited, he stressed. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]