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


Summer Registration Festivale!

March 17, 2009

The temperature outside my window has officially declared summer to be here. The past weeks have gamely ushered in the gaiety and colors of Philippine fiesta season. Just recently I braved the crowds in my hometown to watch the Panagbenga street and float parade. Something I avoid yearly out of sheer pity for the carrying capacity of my city. But the mood and the exuberance was all it was hyped up to be. The beauty of Baguiio, the commercialism and the floats… well that will be for another article… less exuberant than this.

We have an uncertain year ahead of us. Jobs will be cut, relatives will come home from overseas postings that have ended, costs of education will rise in the new school year and we will be forced to tighten our belts. We may forget these in the weeks of festivities ahead… but perhaps in the midst of these festivities there is a way we could reaffirm our stake in our future…

We are a people of movement. Give us a beat and we will sway, we will bob our heads, we will dance. Give us a stage and we will perform, we will shine… heck we will even build our own stage. Give us a song and we will render it in as many versions as we have islands in this nation of happiness.

Pretty soon, school will be out, young (and not so young) Filipinos will head home to our provinces. For vacation, for summer work, to visit our families, to escape the city for a while, or simply to go home. The festivals will welcome us, the beats will resonate and the cheers and songs will fill the summer air. It is in this exuberance that we hope all young Filipinos bring one message home… We have to register to vote in May 2010.

The COMELEC has cut the registration period to October 31, 2009 from Dec 15. This means students and young working Filipinos will not have another chance to go home to their provinces to register after this summer. Not sem break not Christmas. This is it. This has to be our Festival!

The steps are simple enough… 1) invite your friends, barkada and neighbors from the same voting district. 2) download the 4-page registration form from the COMELEC Blogsite or the official COMELEC site. 3) fill up the forms but do not sign yet or put your thumbmark (you need to do this in front of the Election Officer). 4) Go to your local COMELEC any day from Monday to Saturday and holidays from 8am to 5pm (or to announced satellite mobile registrations in schools and barangays) and submit the forms with a valid ID for validation. 5) Have your photo, fingerprints and signature taken by the data capturing machines (DCMs) 6) get your receipt to claim your voter’s ID 7) HAVE FUN!!!

For those who would want to organize satellite registration centers, registration awareness activities and summer gimmicks to encourage the youth to register, get in touch with us through this site, through YouthVotePhilippines, or through email at yvotephilippines@gmail.com and we will gladly link you up with other youth groups in your area. Celebrate summer! Celebrate with your kababatas and kababayans! and lets all make this a SUMMER REGISTRATION FESTIVAL to remember.


Youth Assembly on MARCH 14

March 5, 2009

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