Have you already registered to vote in the 2022 Philippine elections?
With the pandemic forcing people to stay at home, many Filipinos may still be confused about what has changed in our voter registration process given the country’s current health crisis. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is eyeing to pull in at least 4 million new registered voters by the end of the registration period on September 30, 2021.
With less than a year left until the deadline, the agency said more than two million people were already registered as new voters as of February 2021. More people can still be pulled in to register to vote.
Rappler has created a handy guide on how to register to vote during the pandemic. We’ve also gathered answers to some frequently asked questions about voter registration.
People may register if they meet the following requirements:
No. Registration needs to be done only once.
Eligible Filipinos cannot register online. They will still have to go to their local Comelec offices or the Offices of the Election Officer to submit forms, get their photo taken, and leave their fingerprints and digital signature.
Although registration cannot be done virtually, Comelec has set up iRehistro, where you can accomplish your forms online. This, however, does not mean you are registered already. Comelec explained that after completing iRehistro, eligible voters can then go to the local Comelec office or the Office of the Election Officer to personally submit their application form.
Eligible Filipinos should go to their local Comelec offices or the Offices of the Election Officer. These can be found in every district, city, or municipality. According to Comelec, these offices are usually located at or near the city or municipal hall.
In light of the pandemic, registration of voters in satellite sites is suspended until further notice. Satellite registration may only be conducted in cities and municipalities with no COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days before the actual conduct of the satellite registration, according to Comelec.
These offices may most likely have a booking system for appointments. Make sure you check their specific office hours, as this varies across locations. Due to the high volume of requests and limited space, it’s best to book appointments at least a week in advance.
Eligible Filipinos will only need to bring a valid ID and a photocopy of it. They may also bring their accomplished Comelec forms if they’ve already prepared these.
Health protocols will also be strictly enforced during registration.
Registrants can bring any of the following IDs as per Comelec:
Community tax certificates (cedula) and Philippine National Police clearances will not be honored as valid ID for the registration.
For those who do not have any of the mentioned IDs above, eligible Filipinos may be identified under oath by any registered voter of the precinct where they intend to be registered, or by any of their relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. No registered voter or relative shall be allowed to identify more than 3 applicants, according to Comelec.
Minors can already register as long as they will turn 18 on or before the Election Day (May 9, 2022).
For now, the generation and distribution of voter ID cards is currently on hold as a result of the House of Representatives’ approval of a bill seeking to establish a national identification system, which proposes using only one ID for all government transactions.
However, upon finishing the voter’s registration, the election officer will issue an acknowledgement receipt that is attached at the end of the CEF-1 Form as proof of registration. The receipt contains the voter’s ID number.
The receipt should be presented during the elections. This will be helpful in knowing the voter’s precinct.
From March 22 to April 4, all Offices of the Election Officer nationwide will accept applications for voter registration from Mondays to Thursdays, 8 am to 3 pm. The issuance of voter’s certification, however, will be until 5 pm. The shortened voter registration hours were done in light of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Previously, all Offices of the Election Officer nationwide were open from 8 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Saturday.
People may head to their local Comelec office to request correction or updating of entries such as misspelled or wrong names, birth date, birth place, and civil status, among others.
During the registration period, the application for the transfer of the concerned registration record can be filed with the local Comelec office of the new place of residence.
Still got queries on voter’s registration? Other registration FAQs are answered here. You can visit the official COMELEC website for more information about the registration process. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to suggest more frequently asked questions to be included in the page. – with reports from Angel Turiano/Rappler.com
MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler, aims to start the conversation on what kind of leaders we need and what issues should be addressed as we approach the 2022 Philippine elections. Join the conversation here.