Every youth vote counts

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A GUIDE FOR 1ST-TIME REGISTRANTS

by Myril Eloise Enolpe

In a democratic country, participation is the very heart that pumps life to society, and people are the brain and limbs that make change possible.

            BASED on a survey, the youth makes up at least 40 percent of the country’s  population. That said, the youth proves to be the present and future of the nation in many aspects. According to our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, “Kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.” Hence, the importance of educating and training the younger generation to get rid of apathy and involve themselves in nation-building. Only when we are able to raise knowledgeable and competent people can we rest assured that the country will prosper. Only then can we stop worrying about what the next generation will be like.

            One way of instilling patriotism is by encouraging the youth to take part in major decision-making, which can be done through casting votes during elections. How can the citizens vote? First, register.

            The 2022 national election is on its way. Although we still have nine months left before the set date (May 9, 2022), encouraging our first-time voters to register as early as now would save worries later, especially that we are in a pandemic wherein uncertainties may arise.

            Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) continues to operate.

            Here’s a step-by-step guide for first-time registrants:

Who is allowed to register for the first time?

1.         A Filipino citizen who is not yet a registered voter

2.         18 years old (or above) on or before May 9, 2022

3.         A resident of the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein he/ she proposes to vote, for at least six months immediately prior to 2022 National and Local Elections

What should I bring?

1.         Application/Registration Form (CEF-1)

2.         Supplementary Data Form (Annex B)

3.         Health Declaration Form

4.         Valid ID

5.         Photocopy of your valid ID

6.         Pen

            You may visit https://comelec.gov.ph/?r=VoterRegistration/ApplicationsForms for the e-copies of the forms.

How to accomplish the forms?

1.         Print out the forms and fill out the necessary information legibly. Remember to not sign or put your thumb impression (this must be done with an authorized Comelec representative).

2.         Download a copy of the forms and fill it out using a PDF reader and editor. Print it out afterward; or Open the iRegistro Web App (https://comelec.gov.ph/?r=VoterRegistration/iRehistro) and fill out the required fields accordingly.

Where can I submit the filled-out forms?

1.         Set an appointment to the nearest Office of the Election Officer (OEO)

2.         Remember to come at your appointment time (at least an hour before the cutoff time, which is 3 p.m. to not waste your visit)

What specific process should I remember to follow when I visit OEO?

1.         Present your accomplished Health Declaration Form before entering the office

2.         An officer will review your forms, let you sign the forms, and record your registration into their system

3.         An officer will capture your biometrics data and photo

4.         You will be given an acknowledgment receipt of your registration, keep it for future use

            In line with the health protocols, remember to wear a face mask and face shield, maintain at least a one-meter distance from one another, and use alcohol or hand sanitizer often. It may take months after your OEO visit before you become a registered voter, just wait for their notification.

            As for the future of this country, you’ve taken a big step of taking part in making changes for the Philippines. You may do more. Research on the candidates and on the Local and National Elections 2022, vote wisely!

            For more information, visit the Comelec official website through https://comelec.gov.ph/.

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