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Preparing for the 2022 PH election amidst the pandemic

Article by: Kandhalvi M. Asaali, Therese Anne B. Cruz, and Sophia Catherine G. Reyes


Graphics by: Cristelle S. Corpuz


With the 2022 Philippine national and local elections fast approaching, Filipinos – especially the youth who are of legal age – are encouraged to register and exercise their right to vote for the next set of government officials – including the next president and vice president.


Importance of Suffrage

As the elections loom from mere months away, the importance of suffrage – the right to vote – should be brought up once again to the surface to serve as a torch for many Filipino citizens who still have not found their path towards political participation. As the elections loom from mere months away, the importance of suffrage – the right to vote – should be brought up once again to the surface to serve as a torch for many Filipino citizens who still have not found their path towards political participation.


When asked about why it is important for Filipinos to exercise their right to vote, Prof. Michael Art G. Muñoz, a senior high school instructor at Mapúa University (MU), stated that suffrage is an attribute, a key part of citizenship, and a constitutional right.


It’s really essential that you register, kasi kung hindi parang maooutcast ka dun sa set sa society mo and mawawala rin yung pribilehiyo mo, so parang sinayang mo yung pagiging citizen mo sa isang democratic government,” Muñoz elaborated.


…the leaders that you chose today could affect your careers, your industries in the future,” Prof. Hector Manuel Jon G. Brizuela from MU’s School of Social Science and Education said. He emphasized that participating in the election is a way to invest the vote of the Filipinos for the future and betterment of the Philippines.


Brizuela added that by not voting, people exclude themselves from a social contract between the government and the masses.


Moreover, Mapúan student leaders Chloe Hanna B. Carillo and Angelica J. Manansala believe that the Filipino youth will have the greatest impact on this forthcoming election.

It is not only the leaders who have moral obligations to the country but also us as its constituents too. Participating in elections brings us closer to the democratic process of choosing our leaders,” Manansala, the first-year batch representative from the School of Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Engineering Student Council, emphasized.


Our generation especially has a lot of influence in the coming election, and we need to erase the indifference toward the events in our country. We can ensure a better government by educating those closest to us and participating in the elections,” highlighted Carillo, the President of the Department of Arts and Letters Student Council.


In a Zoom interview last March 17 with Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Spokesperson James Arthur Jimenez shared his opinion on why Filipinos should vote in the upcoming elections. “Motivating Filipinos to vote is really a matter of presenting a value proposition,” he said. “Why do I need to vote? And the answer to that question is, you need to vote because that’s the only way to be part of the solution to the problems that face us now,” the COMELEC Spokesperson emphasized.


However, with the previous reimplementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and then modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the NCR Plus bubble, there are still a lot of unregistered voters as they are not familiar with the new voter registration procedures in the face of the still-ongoing pandemic.


Procedures for voter registration

Jimenez shared the developments in the registration process to comply with the health and safety protocols amidst the pandemic. “We have been strongly encouraging people to make an appointment previously before you actually go and to do this, we've been using a platform that we develop, iRehistro.comelec.gov.ph, and we've been using Facebook as well,” he stated.


The following are the general steps to a COVID-safe registration:

  1. Go to the COMELEC website (comelec.gov.ph). Through iRehistro.gov.ph., fill out the first part of the application form (CEF-1) which requires personal information.

    1. First-time registrants should check for the form indicating ‘Registration.’

    2. Take note that the second part of the form, particularly the signature and biometrics, must be filled out in the presence of an Election Officer (EO).

  2. After filling out the forms, set an appointment at your nearest local COMELEC office.

    1. Search for the nearest office in your area and register during working hours.

    2. Bring a photocopy of a valid ID, such as but not limited to – school ID, passport, and driver’s license.

  3. Proceed to the COMELEC office on the day of your appointment during working hours to complete the process of your application.

  4. The EO will review your application form. Afterwards, the biometrics will be captured. Make sure to sanitize your hands after.

  5. Collect your stub and return on the designated date to confirm the approval of your registration.


Moreover, wearing a face mask and face shield is mandatory. Bring a ballpen and alcohol/sanitizer as well.


It should be noted that the mentioned procedures are general steps in voter registration. It may vary per city or province, so it is best to confirm the further details on voter registration with your local COMELEC office before proceeding. Registrants with booked appointments will be prioritized.


All COMELEC offices strictly implement the “No Face Mask and Shield, No Registration” policy with physical distancing in the premises, checking of temperature prior entry, and accomplishing the Coronavirus Self-Declaration Form.


As the NCR Plus bubble has been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) last May 15, voter registration has resumed today, May 17. Registrants can go to the Offices of the Election Officer from Mondays to Fridays, or in satellite sites on Saturdays, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.


After registering, the acknowledgment receipt should be kept as proof that the application has been submitted.


Voter registration ends on September 30, 2021. The national and local elections will be held on May 9, 2022.

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