With all that’s been happening around us, it’s easy to feel unenthusiastic toward the upcoming 2022 elections. However, if we wish to create change in the system, participating in the election and exercising our right to vote are among the major things that we should all do.
In order to vote, one must register by filing a sworn application before an election officer of a city or municipality. This step is crucial in the voting process, as it is where people confirm that they are qualified to vote in the country. (Read: Comelec Rolls Out Facebook Group to Answer Registration FAQs)
And since the current administration only has two years to go before the 2022 elections, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has opened the Voters’ Registration for eligible Filipinos this month. This is following the multiple postponements of registrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic—several changes and adjustments were also made in relation to the quarantine protocols set by the government.
So how do you register as a voter in this unusual time of a pandemic? Read on as My Pope Philippines gives you a complete guide to the registration process! (Read: Pia Wurtzbach Calls on Voters to Register as Pemberton Gets Absolute Pardon)
Who are qualified to vote?
- A Filipino citizen who is at least 18 years old on or before May 9, 2022
- A resident in the Philippines for at least a year
- A resident of the district (where you intend to vote) for at least six months
How long is the registration period?
- Filipinos still have the whole year to register. The voters’ registration started on September 1 and will end on September 30, 2021.
- Registration currently runs from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 8 AM to 3 PM—holidays included.
- If you live in areas still under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or modified ECQ (MECQ), the registration is still suspended in your city or province and will resume once the area’s status is downgraded to general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ (MGCQ). If your area goes back to ECQ or MECQ, the voters’ registration will be suspended again.
What should I bring for the voters’ registration?
- For first-time voters, the COMELEC requires at least one valid ID and a photocopy. (My Pope tip: Bring more than one valid ID so you will have back-ups in case the ID you present turns out to be unacceptable. And make sure that your valid ID shows your current address. If the address is in a different location than the city or municipality and you don’t have an ID showing your current address, your registration will be denied.)
- If you’re not yet 18 on the date, you will still be allowed to register. However, on the actual election day, you’ll need to bring an original and photocopy of your birth certificate.
- The COMELEC is recommending that you download the application forms from its website and fill them out at home before heading to the registration site. DO NOT put your signature and thumb marks in advance as these should be done only in front of the election officer. The form should be printed on a long bond paper (8.5″ x 13″)—any other size is not allowed.
- For PWDs, senior citizens with disabilities, indigenous people, applicants who can’t read or write, there is a supplementary data form for you.
- Applicants are also required to complete the Coronavirus Self Declaration Form.
How do I book an appointment?
- As part of the adjustments made to contain the spread of COVID-19, the COMELEC is processing only a limited number of transactions in a day. So make sure to contact your local COMELEC office to set an appointment.
- In such cases wherein there is no appointment system in your area’s COMELEC office, come as early as possible so you can be accommodated within the registration hours.