Voting time 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. only for 2016 polls

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Comelec says the 30-minute rule before closing will still apply: those within 30 meters from precincts come 4:30 p.m. will be allowed to vote even after closing time.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — For those intending to cast a ballot on May 9, be advised that voting will be until 5 p.m. — not until 7 p.m. — for this year's national elections.

This means voters will have 10 hours to go to polling precincts, still starting at 7 a.m.

In the 2013 mid-term polls, polling places were open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., giving voters 12 hours to vote.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) explained on Wednesday (February 3) that the reason for this was the poll body expected a faster procedure since the number of voters in clustered precincts were brought down to 800 from the previous 1,000 voters.

Comelec Chairman Andres "Andy" Bautista added that the earlier closing of precincts would also allow the Board of Elections Inspectors (BEI) to buckle to work earlier.

Bautista said poll officials also wanted to encourage the public to vote early.

Showing up at the last minute is something common to Filipinos. It can be recalled that even after the 17-month period for Comelec's "No bio, no boto" registration period, around 2 million voters still failed to meet the October 31 deadline last year — prompting Kabataan party-list and other youth groups.

Related: Youth groups challenge 'No Bio, No Boto' before SC

Related: Supreme Court junks petition vs. 'No bio, no boto' policy

"Another thing gusto namin mas maliwanag pa tapos na ang botohan," Bautista said.

[Translation: "It would be better if we close while there is still daylight."]

Bautista said the 30-minute rule before closing would still apply: those who would be within 30 meters from precincts come 4:30 p.m. would be allowed to vote even after closing time.

"Ang rule we always follow is 30 minutes before closing time, BEI or BEI members will go around announcing they are closing in 30 minutes," Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said.

Lim added that the poll body also expected a 75-80 percent voters' turnout —with the actual turnout to be about 600.