Senate warns Comelec: Extend voter's registration or lose funds in 2022 budget

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) – Senators warned Commission on Elections officials that they may lose funds in their 2022 budget if they refuse to heed a Senate resolution extending the voter's registration for next year's polls.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the Comelec can ignore the resolution they passed last Sept. 14, but it comes with consequences.

"Would the Senate consider urging the subcommittee handling the Comelec budget to call the Comelec to a hearing this week and express this need to extend the registration under pain of their budget being slashed to the barest minimum? That's part of a check and balance, if they refuse to exercise a discretion which is consistent with public interest," Drilon said during the Senate session on Monday.

Drilon also suggested passing a one-sentence legislative bill that would mandate the extension as soon as possible.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said towards the end of the plenary session that the bill had been drafted and may be filed at any time.

The Comelec is scheduled to have a budget hearing with the senators on Friday, Sept. 24.

The Senate resolution urges the Comelec to extend the Sept. 30 voter registration deadline until the end of October.

The Comelec has repeatedly rejected calls to extend the voter registration period, saying it would affect the agency's preparations for the 2022 elections.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told CNN Philippines on Monday that there are now close to 62 million registered voters in the Philippines.