The Commission on Elections on Monday said it registered over 67 million voters for the 2022 elections, way beyond its initial target of 61 million and a "historic" jump from its registration figures seven months ago.
Around 65.7 million local voters have signed up to participate in the 2022 elections, while roughly 1.8 million registered overseas, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told reporters in an interview.
Out of the 65.7 million local registered voters, around 9.1 million are from Calabarzon, while 7.3 million are from the National Capital Region.
"It's very gratifying to see that the public is so mobilized and so intent on exercising their right to vote... We're very happy that we have these high numbers," Jimenez said.
"We hope that now they've registered, they should sustain that interest, that they should sustain their intention to participate and that on election day, they actually do participate," he added.
Voter registration had to be suspended for at least a month after Metro Manila and other areas were placed under ECQ, the strictest form of virus lockdown, earlier this year.
To make up for the lost time, the Comelec extended the voter registration period for one month and allowed eligible voters to register even up to 7 p.m. on weekends and on Saturdays.
From just around 59 million registered voters in May, the poll body reached a total of 67.5 million registered voters by the end of the registration period on Oct. 30.
"We haven't seen this kind of increase in a long time. I have to check the records, but this sort of feels historic in terms of the number of people that actually registered," Jimenez said.
"We actually dipped to below 59 million, we were at 61 million before. But we rebounded all the way up to 65 million. So that's a huge bounce. Yun ang historic sa tingin ko," he added.
Jimenez hopes that all those who registered will actually participate in the 2022 elections, which will determine the successors of President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo.
"If they do participate, if we have a good turnout, then the 2022 elections will have historic levels of participation, and we need that right now," he added.