MANILA, Feb 27 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III has signed into law the Biometrics Voter Registration measure under Republic Act No. 10367.
According to the bill’s principal author, Tarlac Rep. Susan Yap, the new law “seeks to establish a clean, complete, permanent and updated list of voters through the adoption of biometrics technology.”
Under the new law, registered voters without biometrics submit themselves for validation beginning July 1, 2013.
Registered voters who fail to submit for validation on or before that last day of filing of application for registration for the May 2016 elections shall be deactivated.
But they may still apply for reactivation after the May 2016 elections following the procedure provided in Section 28 of Republic Act 8189 or the Voters Registration Act of 1996.
The new law also provides for penalties for violations of the proposed Act as covered by Sections 263 and 264 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Penalties will be imposed on those “who shall prohibit, impede, obstruct or prevent a registered voter or a new voter from submitting his or her biometrics for capture through the use of force, intimidation or monetary consideration.
This includes “any public official or person who, under the guise of implementing this Act, shall unjustifiably and without due process, cause the deactivation or reactivation of any registered voter.”
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes earlier said about 9 million of the 52 million registered voters have yet to submit biometrics.
Comelec is also mandated to implement a mandatory biometrics registration system for new voters. (MNS)