THE first-ever National Election Summit will be moved from January to March 2023 to give way to the special elections in the seventh district of Cavite on February 25, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced on Tuesday.
Comelec Commissioner Nelson Celis, head of the poll summit's organizing committee, said in a press briefing held on Tuesday that the event will be held from March 8 to 10.
“[In order] to give way for the special elections in Cavite on February 25, we will just move by about a month,” Celis said.
He said they have so far held 26 pre-summit activities since October 2022.
“So far, we have had discussions on the new technology that could be possibly implemented for the 2025 elections, full implementation of the digital signature, and the possibility of implementing blockchain technology, among others,” Celis said.
The election summit aims to provide a platform for a national dialogue and interaction with, consultation and participation of election stakeholders in the review, formulation, or enhancement of policies, plans, and programs in election administration and electoral enforcement and adjudication.
The recommendations from the summit will be endorsed for consideration by the Comelec en banc.
Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia said the poll summit was pushed back from its original schedule set on the last week of January.
“We will be meeting with our officials in the main and field offices to discuss preparations for the election summit this March,” he said.
Garcia said the objective of the National Election Summit is to “provide a platform for a national dialogue and interaction with, consultation and participation of election stakeholders in the review, formulation and/or enhancement of policies, plans, and programs in election administration and electoral enforcement and adjudication.”
He said it aims “to tap the wealth of insights, recommendations and experience of Filipino voters and experts in various fields in the digital transformation of the Comelec and the election system” and to secure their commitment to the election body's roadmap “toward a free, orderly, honest and credible elections.”
Meanwhile, more than 188,000 individuals have registered as voters for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) to be held in October 2023.
Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations (DEDO) Rafael Olanio said during the same media briefing that as of December 30, a total of 188,129 Filipinos have applied as first-time registered voters.
“The numbers are still relatively low,” Olanio said.
Of the number, the majority or 101,944 voters are ages 18 to 30 years old, followed by those ages 15 to 17 years old at 60,491 voters and 25,694 voters ages 31 years old and above.
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