Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Confession: I have never missed an election — presidential, national, midterm, local, barangay — ever since I became a registered voter in my former hometown of Dalupiri Island in 2000.
Even when I came to live in Manila, I make it a point to “go home” on election week.

Eventually in 2009, after almost a decade of living in the metro, I’ve decided to switch and transfer my voting registration record.
I remember queuing for like half a day at Manila’s Comelec Office (no-aircon) and having my biometrics data taken.

My Voter’s ID, I received via mail 5 years later.

But I still consider myself lucky, precinct-wise. Though admittedly not air-conditioned, my assigned voting venue was civilized (read: konting tao) compared to the sweat and pandemonium of other voting precincts in Metro Manila (if you know what I mean).
Below is where I’ve been casting my ballot since 2009 and where I planned to do so next year.

May 2013 National (midterm) and local elections / Claro M. Recto High School

I voted Erap for Manila mayor in 2013.

October 2013 Village level (barangay) elections / Claro M. Recto High School

Check out my ballot:

Now, for the important bit!

After February 15, 2013, when Republic Act No. 10367 was signed into law by President Benigno S. Aquino III, all voter registration records must have biometrics information. This means that when you go to your local Comelec office to file an application, your biometrics data will be captured using the Comelec’s Voter Registration Machine (VRM). The VRM makes use of a digital camera, a fingerprint scanner and a signature pad to capture your biometrics data.

Due to this new law, all previously registered voters without biometrics are required to subject themselves to biometrics capture through the validation procedure. The absence of biometrics in the voter’s registration record would cause the Comelec to deactivate the concerned registration records. When that happens, the concerned voter shall not be allowed to vote in the May 2016 elections. This new biometrics requirement has led to the #NoBioNoBoto campaign, which aims to spread awareness to all concerned.

If you want to have a say on which leaders will be elected on May 9, 2016, then you have to make sure you are a registered voter; and if registered, then that you have updated your voter’s record with biometrics data. You only have until October 31, 2015, to register as a voter or validate your biometrics data for the 2016 presidential, national, and local elections.

Follow the steps below and take note of important information on the registration process.


Nota bene:

You may check via the Comelec’s Precinct Finder or see if your name is on the list of Voters Without Biometrics at the Comelec website.

Click here for a directory of Comelec field offices, as posted at the Comelec website. Local Comelec offices are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, from Sunday to Friday in Metro Manila and highly-urbanized cities, and from Monday to Friday in other towns and cities.

For the schedule of voters’ registration and validation in select Robinsons, Ayala, and SM malls, and Waltermart branches in your area, click here. These are usually conducted on weekends during mall hours.

For OFWs, use the Comelec’s Post Finder or see the list of consular jurisdictions at the Comelec website to see where you can register.

You can register as an absentee voter even before heading abroad.

You may also use iRehistro to fill out application forms online. But you will still have to print out 3 copies of the accomplished form and appear before the designated Philippine embassy or consulate for the biometrics capture.


The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to work in 12-hour shifts, until as late as 9:00 pm, from October 17 to 31, 2015 (the deadline for voters registration), to accommodate more voters who want to register for the May 2016 elections.

Find out more.

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