COMELEC Office Closed on a Weekday

April 8, 2009

Sharing this post from Ralph of AYLA… kindly pass and also give feedback, reports if similar incidents are happening in your areas this summer. So we can see how to best address such unfortunate incidents. Lets get the youth and young professionals to register this summer. Thanks much. -Tanya

“I was so happy that the top management of our company has been very
supportive of the ongoing campaign of Ayala Young Leaders Alliance
advocating voters’ registration. We, the employees are entitled for
one-day leave just to make sure that we are registered in our local
COMELEC office.”

“The COMELEC website has a feature of checking whether an individual is
registered or not. I found out that I am still registered though I
have no records for my biometrics. After office hours yesterday, I
immediately proceed to the bus station for an eight-hour trip to
Mulanay, Quezon Province where I am registered. Aside from seeing my
parents whom I have not seen for months, I was so excited for the trip
to have my biometrics captured and claim my voters ID which I have
been waiting for, for the past elections.”

“Upon arriving at the local COMELEC office at around 10:00 in the
morning, all my excitement faded upon seeing that the said office is
padlocked. My temper escalated upon seeing the long lines of equally
excited youngsters whom I assume are first time voters. Some were even
wearing their PE t-shirts of some Manila schools. What I was not
surprised is that most of them are like me who intend to maximize
their long vacation and placing their registration among their to-do
list.”

“The COMELEC en banc released a resolution stating that their local
offices should be open during Saturdays and holidays. Today is
Wednesday and apparently not a holiday yet. Since no one was around to
check if the office will still open, I rushed to the office beside
COMELEC to inquire. Only to know the worst – the said office is closed
since yesterday.”

“I believe that all our efforts in the Ayala Young Leaders Alliance and
Youth Vote Philippines should by all means be given equal effort and
commitment from the COMELEC. What is it for those young men and women
behind the advocacy of promoting voters registration only to be given
this inattention from the very institution which should be the prime
mover of citizen participation in the electoral process? What is to be
expected from our campaign of getting as many youth as possible to
register if our target individuals will only encounter padlocked
COMELEC office with no single personnel around especially during the
very rare chances that they can spare time to exercise their duties as
citizens?”

“Do not blame the youth for being so-called apathetic. Apathy is a
result of outright incompetence of most of our public servants. Among
the youth, most of us are doing our share. It’s just that more often
than not, we do not receive the expected effectiveness from those in
the bureaucracy.”

“Given the average turnout of registration, it will not be an
astounding possibility to deprive hundreds of thousands if not
millions of voters. The deadline for the registration is cut short
from December 15 to October 31, 2009 in order to prepare for poll
automation, as reported. Such directive poses the possibility of
significantly decreasing the number of potential first time voters,
unreasonable closing of COMELEC offices aggravates the saddening
scenario.”

“In the 2007 senatorial elections, around 6.4 million potential voters
were not registered. This number has significantly increased for the
2010 presidential elections.”

“We can recall the outcome of the past elections where the winners of
national elective positions have a margin of less than a million.
Assuming without conceding that there were no (massive) cheating,
imagine the difference that the votes of those who were unable to
register could have affected the final tallies. Bottomline – the
impact of the evident disregard of this very office to their mandate
definitely affect the outcome of the elections and the impression of
the public of the worth of exercising their rights and duties as
citizens.”

We appeal for immediate actions from the Commission on Elections. No
more excuses please. We are all tired to hear the seemingly endless
explanations trying to sew the loopholes in the systems the same
commission are implementing. We are doing giving our contributions.
We, the public, deserve no less
.

Ralph Reuben C. Morales
Ayala Young Leader batch 2004
Senior Development Specialist
AYLC Alumni and External Affairs
Youth Leadership Development Unit

Ayala Foundation, Inc.
10/F BPI Main Building, 6768 Ayala Avenue
corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City

Email ralph.morales@ayalayoungleaders.ph |
Web http://www.ayalayoungleaders.ph


YouthVotePhilippines Signs MOA with GMA7

March 4, 2009

Hi everyone,

Great news! Youth Vote Philippines has just signed an agreement with GMA Network on a partnership that will bring our advocacies to GMA’s TV audience nationwide. This partnership aims to increase awareness among students, young professionals and the public on our programs that are focused on the need to get registered, the importance of voting wisely and making the youth more politically and socially aware.

We would like to share with you a video clip of our MOA signing yesterday with GMA Philippines. This was aired last night during 24Oras, Saksi and the late night news and was shown again this morning during its morning program Unang Hirit and again this afternoon at Balitanghali.

http://www.gmanews.tv/largevideo/related/37677/Saksi-GMA-Youth-Vote-Phils-sign-MOA-for-2010-polls

Our online portal is in its final stage of development and can be viewed at http://www.youthvotephilippines.com. (comments welcome!) A formal launch will be made once all the technical features have been finalized.

We thank all those who have continuously supported Youth Vote Philippines. YVP is a consolidated force of reform oriented youth groups whose programs are geared towards efforts for voter’s registration and voter’s education. We bring to the groups a common platform for cooperation through our online portal and a solid foundation of support through the YPS alliance of young leaders and organizations. We are non-partisan but take pride in having organizations from different reform camps who, with integrity, come together to ensure full cooperation in addressing areas of mutual concern.

A special thanks goes out to our media liaison officer Niel Lim who was the moving force behind this partnership with GMA. Looking forward to an exciting year ahead!

We will step up and take the lead!

Sincerely,

Ching Jorge

Lead Convenor

Young Public Servants, Youth Vote Philippines


YVote news release on Dec 2 resumption of continuing registration

December 2, 2008

 

yvote-logo-red

Youth groups go full blast in promoting voter registration;

push for improved electoral processes through Web-based technology

A network of reform-oriented youth groups, under the banner YouthVotePhilippines (YVote), held a series of events in Cebu, Davao, and Metro Manila between November 27 and December 2 to encourage the country’s over six million first-time voters to register for the May 2010 elections.

 

Press briefings, media guestings, and a launch party were held from November 27 to 29 in Davao City. Present were representatives from YVote member groups Akbayan Youth and Ayala Young Leaders Alliance, as well as representatives from the Sangguniang Kabataan and local organizations Atty. Marlon Casquejo of the COMELEC in Davao was also present to support the event.

 

In Cebu City, a press conference was held on December 1, participated in by representatives from Akbayan Youth, TAYO Foundation, First Time Voters Project, Ayala Young Leaders Alliance, Sangguniang Kabataan, local organizations, out-of-school youth, and the National Youth Commission.

 

Improved voter registration process

Continuing voter registration was slated to resume on December 2, 2008 under Commission on Election (COMELEC) Resolution No. 8514. An excerpt reads: “Applications for registration, transfer of registration records, reactivation and changes/corrections of entries in the registration records/inclusion of registration records/reinstatement of name in the list of voters, shall be personally filed beginning December 2, 2008 to December 15, 2009 at the Office of the Election Officer (OEO) of the district/city/municipality where the applicant resides from Monday to Friday, during regular office hours at 8:00 o’clock AM to 5:00 o’clock PM.”

 

YVote core member Mildred Ople, who actively lobbied at the COMELEC for the resumption of continuing voter registration, pointed out significant improvements in the voter registration process that have been suggested by YVote.

 

“YVote strongly recommended that COMELEC upload its registration form on the COMELEC website to enable registrants to obtain copies of the form and fill them out even before heading to the COMELEC office to register,” Ople pointed out. “This makes the process a little bit easier, and is articulated under Section 8 of Resolution 8514.”

 

As of this writing, COMELEC’s website, http://www.comelec.gov.ph, already housed the said electronic copies of the registration form. Applicants are expected to print out this form, accomplish it in three (3) copies, and bring to the COMELEC office for signing and thumbmarking in the presence of an election officer.

 

“YVote also suggested that COMELEC establish Satellite Offices to accommodate more registrants. This is articulated in Section Four of the said resolution,” Ople added.

 

Increased pressure, greater support

The group initially expressed grave concern over delays in re-opening voter registration, which was initially slated for November 3.

 

In a letter to COMELEC Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, YVote reiterated that young Filipinos would be a significant force in the 2010 elections. The group signed a petition outlining four (4) possible areas where it can help the COMELEC address some limitations of the registration process for students and young professionals who live and vote in separate places.

 

These include: the utilization of schools in COMELEC’s information campaign, expansion of the availability of registration materials to schools and the Internet, the setting up of satellite registration centers or field mobile registration units, and the assignment of additional special registration days each first Saturday of the month.

 

In return for COMELEC support, YVote committed to mobilize member student councils, organizations, and individuals in schools and through online social networking groups to volunteer in these various activities. The group further committed to help make information and education materials youth-appropriate and exciting and to immediately bring these to a wide number of youth through its networks and partners.

 

At an event signifying the resumption of continuing voter registration, held at the University of Santo Tomas campus in Manila, YVote Lead Convenor Ching Jorge recognized efforts by “senior groups” to ensure that young Filipinos are given a voice in 2010.

 

“YVote and its partners in the youth movement look forward to open and facilitative coordination with COMELEC towards the electoral empowerment of Filipino youth,” she stated. “While we are still pushing for certain electoral reforms to be put in place—such as election automation using more transparent, efficient methods—we are thankful that our elders were open enough to accept our recommendations for the voter registration process. In the end, this is about giving young Filipinos a voice, and we welcome the many converging efforts to ensure that Filipino youth are empowered to elect their president in 2010.”

 

Aside from voter registration, YVote and its network partners are gearing up for the roll out of its program’s other components: on-the-ground voters’ education, an online portal for comprehensive candidate information; and the development of a youth agenda framed on the eight Millennium Development Goals.

 

A network representing groups from various sides of the youth movement, YVote’s core members include: the Ayala Young Leaders Alliance, Akbayan Youth, First Time Voters Project, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations, the WhyNot? Forum, Youth Alliance Philippines, and Young Public Servants.

 

 

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Download the PDF file of the news release HERE


First Time Voters release petition to COMELEC

November 11, 2008

23 September 2008

The Honorable Commissioners of the

Commission on Elections

Through: Hon. Jose A.R. Melo

Chairman

Re: Urgent proposals for youth voters’ registration

Honorable Commissioners:

The First Time Voters (FTV, for brevity) Project is a conglomeration of youth and student organizations with the common goal of appraising the political participation and consciousness of first time voters through voters’ education. Since its inception, it has initiated campaigns and activities in line with this thrust.

The organization, among others, upholds the right of the people to register as a precondition to the exercise of the constitutional right to suffrage. Being the initial step in the exercise thereof, adequate information on the process of registration should be made accessible to the public. Also, the process itself shall be made convenient so as to attract participation from a wider base. However in past elections, there were not a few reported cases of disenfranchisement of youth and first time voters because of the limitations in the past registration processes.

According to the NSO 2000 Census-based Populations Projection, there will be 33.4 million voters in 2010; 6 million of which are first time voters. In the face of the National Elections in 2010, we anticipate that more youth would be able to participate if the proper bodies would put premium to the issues of information dissemination or lack thereof and accessibility to the registration process itself.

It is in this context that we, in the FTV Project propose to bolster the accessibility of the 2010 national elections through the utilization of schools in the information campaign, expansion of the availability of registration materials, and the setting up of satellite registration centers. We elaborate on these points as follows:

  1. COMELEC to utilize schools in information campaign

The age range of first time voters for 2010 is 16 to 20 years old. Those belonging to this age group spend most of their time in their respective schools, thus their maximum exposure therein. It is in this belief that the FTV moves to channel information drive through these establishments. This will be done through directives from government bodies such as the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education. Flowcharts of the registration process and related materials shall be provided to the schools for the perusal of their students.

  1. COMELEC to expand the availability of registration materials

The COMELEC, as the chief implementing arm of election laws, should be at the forefront of promoting the exercise of the right of suffrage as incumbent on all Filipino citizens. We propose that registration forms should be made available thru avenues that are easily accessed by the youth such as schools and community centers. Also, the COMELEC should make available downloadable registration forms via the internet through the COMELEC website or other related links.

  1. Set up satellite registration centers or field mobile registration units.

It is a declared State policy to systematize the present method of registration in order to establish among others, a clean and updated list of voters (Sec. 2 R.A. No. 8189 “The Voters’ Registration Act of 1996). In order to attain this, a mechanism should be devised in order to allow a maximum number of voters to be able to register. A number of youth are not able to register because they are not based in their places of domicile on account of studies or employment.

This is a reality that prompts the FTV to propose the establishment of satellite registration centers in schools, community centers, and other accessible areas. For areas where a satellite center is not feasible, mobile registration units may be fielded accompanied by accredited COMELEC officials. Given that the COMELEC has already started with the computerization of registration, transfer of information from one COMELEC access point to another would entail minimal cost. In return, enfranchisement of youth voters will be upheld.

  1. Assign additional special registration days

Students, who comprise the majority of first time voters are prevented from registering by their being away from their places of residence on account of their studies. Young professionals likewise are hindered by their location of employment or by the fact that registration is conducted during office hours. It is in this line that FTV proposes the assignment of additional special registration days every first Saturday of the month. With this move, COMELEC will further assure the enfranchisement of youth voters.

The upcoming 2010 National Elections presents our country with another pivotal point in our conflict-ridden history. The next set of national leaders would greatly determine the course of our economy, our politics, and our morality in these hard times. It becomes imperative therefore for the COMELEC to take proactive and essential steps to promote youth enfranchisement in our electoral process. The COMELEC should help to create the enabling conditions for the effective and informed exercise by the youth of their sovereign right to vote. We submit that the above propositions are but reasonable measures that in the end would empower the youth today.

In return, FTV in alliance with Task Force 2010 (TF2010) and YouthVotePhilippines commits to assist and facilitate youth participation to help COMELEC achieve these proposals.

  1. Youth councils and organizations in FTV, TF2010 and YouthVotePhilippines network schools will provide volunteers to do the information drive, organize fora or symposia on election processes. The youth volunteers will likewise help make the information campaign friendly and appropriate to youth voters.

  2. The aformentioned member networks of FTV will place links on their websites, blogs and social networking sites to the uploaded registration form that COMELEC will make available. Distribution of the actual registration forms can be done by FTV and its networks in the schools where they are based. These efforts will broaden the access of Youth Voters and shorten the time it will take for the actual registration process.

  3. In areas where FTV and its networks have strong and responsive first time voters, it will facilitate and invite the mobile registration units and help provide volunteers. The visit of these mobile registration units can be further enhanced by complementary information campaigns and voters education events.

  4. FTV and its networks will actively enjoin young professionals and students in a creative and youthful campaign to maximize the opportunities given by additional registration days.

Sincerely,

Paula Bianca Lapuz

Convenor

First Time Voters Network


Youth Pulse results!

October 27, 2008

You’ve cast your vote and some of you have made your comments known, so now we present the results of the first-ever Youth Pulse, asking about YOUR thoughts on Charter Change.

To all those who participated in the survey, THANK YOU! Stay tuned for this week’s Youth Pulse, on the Internet and Social Media as a potential force for change.

Want to receive regular updates from YouthVotePhilippines? Click HERE


r2v update!

September 19, 2008

GUESS WHO ELSE IS JOINING US TOMORROW NIGHT? =)

See you tomorrow, 8PM, at Cubao Expo!