Questions and answers
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want them answered via video, you can send them to email@example.com. I put out explainer videos on my own Voter Education Central channel on Youtube, every Wednesday and Saturday.