Biliran Elections

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Registered voters to reach some 85T in Biliran

By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA (PIA Biliran)
January 9, 2007

NAVAL, Biliran  Ė  As the registration of voters scheduled by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ended last December 31, 2006, the Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) of this province has estimated that the number of registered voters in the province of Biliran will reach to some 85 thousand.

According to Atty. Sabino C. Mejarito, PES of Comelec-Biliran, in an interview with PIA Monday, the big turn-out in the registration of voters in each of the eight municipal election offices in the province showed that there is a significant increase in the number of new registered voters especially those coming from the youth sector.

The PES also informed that those who just submitted their registration form and whose respective biometrics like pictures, fingerprint and signature have not been taken yet thru computer due to insufficiency of time last December 31, 2006. More new registrants will be accommodated until January 7, 2007 in all Comelec offices nationwide

He said that based on the latest statistical data of Comelec-Biliran there are already 79,058 registered voters in the province of Biliran as determined by the members of the Election Registration Board (ERB) as of the last hearing conducted on October 16, 2006.

He explained that the ERB which is composed of election officer as chairman and district supervisor and local civil registrar as members is the body that will scrutinize to determine whether one is considered a qualified voter or not.

It is also during ERB hearings conducted that any opposition or who sought the disqualification of person who filed an application for voterís registration will be heard and be granted to any person or party in interest, Atty. Mejarito said.

He said that the decrease in the number of registered voters from 81,963 based on the 2004 elections records to 79,058 in October 16, 2006 is due to the exclusion from the lists of registered voters the names of voters who died already, transferees and those who failed to vote twice during the regular scheduled elections as determined by the members of the ERB in its hearings conducted, Atty. Mejarito said.

Of the 79,058 registred voters in the province of Biliran as of October 16, 2006, Naval has 20,916 registered voters, followed by Kawayan with 10,884, Caibiran-10,447, Cabucgayan-9,828, Biliran-8,088, Almeria-7,817, Culaba-7,005 and the island municipality of Maripipi with 4,103.

Atty. Mejarito added that the ERB provincewide will conduct a series of hearings from January 8 to 12 this year to all voterís registration applications submitted to the respective municipal election offices from October 17 up to December 31, 2006 in order to determine the total official number of registered voters in the province of Biliran who are eligible to vote for the 2007 elections.

He also said that based on the raw data received from the Comelec municipal offices in the province, the municipality of Naval posts the highest number of new registrants with more than 4,000 and more than 1,000 also for the other municipalities except for Maripipi which recorded a low voterís registration percentage. These raw data of voterís registration from the eight municipalities are still subject for ERB hearings which are scheduled this month.

The big turn-out of voterís registration in the province of Biliran is an indication of the willingness of the Biliranons to exercise their right of suffrage as mandated by law and as provided by a democratic society like the Philippines, Atty. Mejarito said.