Upon reaching our legal age, we are bound to play a part in the future of the nation. And the first step to being responsible citizens is registering to vote. For those who aren’t registered and wondering about the importance of voter registration, here’s your chance to know how and why.
ICYMI: Voter registration resumes until January 31
“Take advantage of the schedule,” says the Commission on Elections, as the registration period will only run over a month. The Comelec opens voter registration to prepare for the December 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan and May 2025 National elections.
Who is qualified to register?
The registration is open to all Filipino citizens at least 18 years old. S/he must be residing in the Philippines for at least one year or at least six months residing in the area covered by the barangay.
What do you need to register?
To register, an individual must bring valid proof of identification such as a National ID, passport, driver’s license, employment ID, or student ID. For senior citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PWD), bringing your senior citizen or PWD ID is highly suggested for prioritized accommodation in the registration center. Meanwhile, individuals belonging to an indigenous group can bring IP Certificates issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, notarized Barangay Certification.
Where and when can you register?
You may visit the Comelec office in their cities and towns from Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 to 5:00 pm. Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco also noted that they set a pilot test of the Register Anywhere Project (RAP). Five malls in Metro Manila are SM Fairview, Robinsons Galleria in Quezon City, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, and Robinsons Place Manila.
Once the registration process is completed, the individual will be issued a Voter’s Identification Card, which serves as proof of their registration and eligibility to vote.
The importance of voter registration
Form a functional democracy
The importance of voter registration cannot be overstated – it is of great essence already. It is the first step in exercising our rights as “eligible” citizens of a country or state. Voters are the ones to choose the next leaders – the big men steering our economy and national policies, among others. For our and our little one’s future, we need to achieve a foundation of a functional democracy.
If you aren’t aware yet, you and I should have the power to form a strong foundation for our nation’s democracy. One of the reasons is to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. It helps to prevent voter fraud, which undermines the legitimacy of an election.
Increase voter turnout
By making the registration process easy and accessible, more citizens can participate in the electoral process. This is especially important for marginalized communities, which are most vulnerable to barriers to voting. They are also among the most prone to carry the burden caused by the inefficiency of the government.
Amplify every citizens’ voices
Voter registration helps ensure that the voices of all citizens are heard in the political process. We aren’t just bound to benefits and duties but rights as well. In a true democracy, every citizen has an equal right to participate in the political process. Regardless of socioeconomic status, race, or gender, all voices must count.
Micas pursues writing and photography as a hobby and as an instrument to feature the life of people often ignored in society. She aspires to be a journalist and an all-around cool girl someday. She's in the process of making herself eloquent in writing and speaking.