By Anna Valmero
First Posted 11:35:00 01/28/2009
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections has started notifying 151, 157 residents in Quezon City who have been delisted to register again, an official said.
The names of 113, 395 and 37, 762 voters in the second and third districts, respectively, were removed from the Quezon City Computerized Voters’ List during the Election Registration Board (ERB) hearing on January 19, said James Jimenez, Comelec spokesman.
Jimenez said deactivation was a way to “cleanse the voters’ list.”
“We expect more names of deactivated voters. The National Capital Region Comelec offices will finalize the numbers of deactivated voters by early February. Under the law, the Comelec will notify the deactivated voters, who are given until December to reactivate their registration,” said Jimenez.
Under Section 27 of Republic Act 8189, registered voters will be deactivated from the Comelec voters’ list for “failure to vote in the last two regular elections” specifically in the May 14, 2007 synchronized national and local elections and the Oct. 29, 2007 Barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (youth) Elections.
Lawyer Dinah Valencia, Comelec second district election officer, sent letters starting January 5, advising deactivated voters in the second district to file for reactivation of registration at her office from January 27 to December 15.
At least 17, 124 letters have been delivered to the deactivated voters and that more letters would be sent until March, said Ma. Teresa Gancita, election assistant II, Comelec Quezon City District II office, in a phone interview.
Gancita noted that the bulk of the letters were returned to the Comelec office, stating that the voter no longer lived in the address registered with the poll body.
The Comelec will decide in the second ERB hearing in March if the person’s name will be deleted from the voters’ list, said Gancita.
Third district election officer Evelyn Bautista said aside from notification via mail, they tapped the 37 village leaders to help in information dissemination.
“We sought the help of the barangay chairman in the 37 barangay to post the list of deactivated voters on the barangay bulletin boards and they welcomed the idea, saying it is one way of giving early advise to the voters and surveying if the voters still reside in the area,” said Bautista.
Bautista said they would start sending letters this week to advise delisted voters to reactivate their records.
“We waited for the ERB to release the final set of voters’ names because we do not want to send premature notifications, which already happened before,” said Bautista.
Under Section 28 of RA 8189, registered voters could file a sworn application for reactivation of registration not later than 120 days before the regular elections.
Jimenez said voters could bring one valid ID, excluding a barangay residential certificate, and fill up a form for reactivation of registration at the Office of the Election Officer in the municipality a voter is registered.
If the application is approved, the election officer will retrieve the registration record from the inactive file and include the voter’s record in the precinct book of voters, he said.