Ques­tions and an­swers

BusinessMirror - - Opinion - James Jimenez Th­ese are just five of the most com­monly asked ques­tions. There are more. So much more. You prob­a­bly have ques­tions your­self. Send them to us via e-mail at eid@ com­elec.gov.ph. Or if you want them an­swered via video, you can send them to jab

WIth voter reg­is­tra­tion in its third week, the chan­nels we use for com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the pub­lic have been pretty ac­tive. the “Ask com­elec” group on Face­book has never been busier and—with more and more peo­ple shar­ing their first­hand ex­pe­ri­ences with ac­tual voter reg­is­tra­tion—more help­ful. And since this pan­demic has all but elim­i­nated the dis­tinc­tion be­tween work and home life, an­swer­ing ques­tions from the pub­lic has be­come an all-day and all-night con­cern for me and my col­leagues in the ed­u­ca­tion and In­for­ma­tion Depart­ment of the com­elec.

And since we spend all our time an­swer­ing ques­tions on so­cial me­dia, I fig­ured it stands to rea­son that legacy me­dia should be con­scripted into the ef­fort as well. Hence, this Q&A ar­ti­cle:

“How do I find out if I need to have my voter reg­is­tra­tion record re­ac­ti­vated?”—un­for­tu­nately, there is cur­rently no con­ve­nient way of con­firm­ing that your reg­is­tra­tion record has been re­ac­ti­vated. You could try re­mem­ber­ing when you last voted, and if it was more than two con­sec­u­tive elec­tions ago (count­ing the Barangay and Sang­gu­ni­ang Ka­bataan or SK elec­tions), then it’s a safe bet that you need to file an ap­pli­ca­tion for re­ac­ti­va­tion if you want to vote in 2022. But as I said, that may not be con­fir­ma­tory at all since mem­ory is a tricky thing. At the end of the day, the only way to be re­ally sure if your record has been de­ac­ti­vated is to con­sult the Com­elec of­fice where you reg­is­tered.

“I’m an OFW here in Saudi Ara­bia. How do I register on­line?”—for now, on­line reg­is­tra­tion is not an op­tion for ei­ther over­seas or do­mes­tic vot­ing. How­ever, since we’re on the topic, Filipinos who wish to vote over­seas have to sign up for it, and the reg­is­tra­tion pe­riod for that started on Septem­ber 1 as well. Over­seas Voter reg­is­tra­tion is car­ried out at Philip­pine em­bassies and con­sulates world­wide, so peo­ple in­ter­ested in reg­is­ter­ing will have to co­or­di­nate with the Philip­pine Em­bassy or con­sulate where they are.

In the Philip­pines, peo­ple who fore­see that they will be abroad on May 9, 2022 can sign up to be­come an over­seas voter by reg­is­ter­ing, in per­son, at the Of­fice for Over­seas Vot­ing which is lo­cated in the Pala­cio del Gober­nador Build­ing in In­tra­muros. Reg­is­tra­tion at the OFOV, how­ever, is strictly by ap­point­ment only, so find them on Face­book and book an ap­point­ment there.

“I’m reg­is­tered to vote in Cebu, but I live and study in Manila now. With the way things are go­ing, I don’t think I can go home to Cebu to vote in 2022. What should I do?”—you should se­ri­ously con­sider vot­ing in Manila in­stead. If you do, then you’re go­ing to have to file a re­quest for Trans­fer of Reg­is­tra­tion. To do that, all you need is a valid ID show­ing that you are now a res­i­dent of Manila. For this pur­pose, any valid ID show­ing your Manila ad­dress will do. If you’re rent­ing a place in Manila, then a copy of the lease con­tract in your name will serve the same pur­pose.

“My daugh­ter reg­is­tered for the SK elec­tions in 2018. She’s 18 now. Does she have to register again?”—no, she doesn’t. SK vot­ers are au­to­mat­i­cally in­cluded in the list of “reg­u­lar” vot­ers, i.e., vot­ers aged 18 and up, as soon as they come of age.

“Why doesn’t Com­elec have on­line reg­is­tra­tion?”—there are two ma­jor rea­sons why on­line reg­is­tra­tion isn’t avail­able yet. First, Repub­lic Act 8189 ef­fec­tively re­quires that voter reg­is­tra­tion be ac­com­plished in per­son; and sec­ond, gath­er­ing a per­son’s bio­met­rics for the pur­pose of com­ply­ing with Repub­lic Act 1036—the Manda­tory Bio­met­rics Law—is cur­rently pos­si­ble only in per­son.

Th­ese are just five of the most com­monly asked ques­tions. There are more. So much more. You prob­a­bly have ques­tions your­self. Send them to us via e-mail at eid@com­elec.gov.ph. Or if you want them an­swered via video, you can send them to jab­jimenezblo­gs@gmail.com. I put out ex­plainer videos on my own Voter Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tral chan­nel on Youtube, ev­ery Wed­nes­day and Satur­day.

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