MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday refuted the result of a recent survey by the Social Weather Station (SWS) that some 9.7 million registered voters have no biometrics data.
With this, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista released on Tuesday the commission’s own record of registered voters without biometrics, numbering 3.1 million.
“Voters, who don’t have biometrics data, have gone down to 3.1 million… you will know that it has really gone down substantially,” he said in a press conference.
Comelec records show that there are only 3,130,377 voters that are without biometrics, as of August 30.
Bautista said that the Comelec did not know on how the SWS came out with the results, noting that the commission’s records are the official data that would be used for the May 2016 polls.
“To be honest, we are unsure as to how the SWS came out with their numbers. I don’t know if it was the way the questions were asked or the methodology in respect of conducting the survey. But these are our numbers,” he added.
The June 5-8 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed that about 16 percent of respondents, or equivalent to 9.7 million, are registered voters who have not been validated.
For his part, Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia expressewd hopes that there will be more responsibility in coming out with such data as it could affect the credibility of the forthcoming polls.
“Kapag sinabi kasing 9.7 million, parang ganun ka-substantial yung numbers ng hindi makakaboto. Parang nakakatakot e. So it puts into question yung credibility ng elections,” he added.
Republic Act 10367 or the Mandatory Biometrics Registration Act of 2013 states, voters, who fail to have their biometrics taken prior to the May 2016 elections, shall be deactivated from the voters’ list and shall not be allowed to vote.
Biometrics data refers to the automated identification of an individual, particularly his/her photograph, fingerprint, and signature.
The voter registration for the 2016 elections is set to end on Oct. 31.