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


Youth votes

January 10, 2009

01/08/09

Posted under 2010 Elections

By Marjorie Gorospe

THE 2010 Philippine presidential elections are drawing near. Some aspirants have started subtle campaigning, hoping to catch people’s attention this early.

History would tell, however, that Philippine elections have been marred with fraud, casting doubt on people who are placed in power. This is one reason why some voters forego their right to suffrage.

Jaime Garchitorena of Youth Vote Philippines says one cannot blame some people for choosing not to vote.

Garchiterona says the Filipinos’ growing distrust with elections will only lead to more unwanted public servants.

“If you don’t trust the system, which you do not try to fix, then it still stays the same as distrustful as you thought it was,” Garchiturena adds.

Garchitorena says breaking this cycle of distrust is difficult. But people should not give up. He says “trying” means that people have accepted the possibility of change.

Youth Vote Philippines hopes to encourage the youth to find time to vote.

He points out that people should not complain if they chose not to vote. “Kung hindi ka boboto, huwag kang magreklamo [Don’t complain if you will not vote],” he adds.

He admits that it remains a challenge to encourage more young people to vote. However, he and his colleagues in Movement for Good Governance are not losing hope.

http://blogs.inquirer.net/philippineelections/2009/01/08/youth-votes/


Coalition aims 10M votes for good gov’t

December 20, 2008

By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer | 12/21/2008

MANILA, Philippines—A critical mass of 10 million voters is what a new movement aims to mobilize to bring about good governance ahead of and beyond the 2010 elections.

The Movement for Good Governance (MGG), a coalition of reform-minded organizations, business leaders and individuals, has three long-term goals—voter registration and empowerment, election reform and leadership development.

But it is focusing on the 2010 elections as a major opportunity to exercise good governance and elect new leaders, the group said in a press briefing on Friday.

The organizations at the core of the coalition are Kaya Natin, Youth Vote, Young Public Servants, Hope, Transparent Election.org, Reform Coalition and RCN Visition 2010.

Some of its key movers are Milwida Guevara, a former finance undersecretary; Guillermo Luz, a former Makati Business Club executive director; information technology expert Gus Lagman; artist and youth leader Jaime Garchitorena; retired Gen. Jose Almonte and comedian “Juana Change.”

According to Guevara, the strength of MGG is how it has put together “a group of ordinary people who want to make a difference, who have hope and who would like to put a claim that this is our country.”

Guevara, president of the Synergeia Foundation which works with local government units in improving basic education, said MGG was not endorsing any particular candidate for president but “it’s possible that via an organic process ahead of the elections, views may converge to endorse a set of leaders.”

With regard to the first of its goals, the MGG will support the registration of young and first-time voters starting this month, mobilize 10 million voters to sign up and support good governance reforms and then organize communication platforms like public debates to help Filipinos understand the issues better and choose candidates wisely.

Effective automation

With respect to election reforms, MGG seeks effective automation to achieve transparent and faster canvassing of voters.

“Let’s use technology not only to prevent cheating but to make the elections more transparent,” said Lagman, of Transparent Election.org, who proposes the uploading of electoral results to the Internet after the manual canvassing of votes in the schools.

Luz said the country must fix the electoral system so that good candidates would be encouraged to run for office.

He said an online system would allow the candidates, voters, watchers the media and even the overseas Filipinos to keep track of poll results.

“Everybody will have power of information at their fingertips and that makes 40 million of us poll watchers, far better than the half a million that Namfrel can put up,” said Luz, formerly executive director of the National Movement for Free Elections.

Lagman, who was also IT chief at Namfrel, has designed a program called “Open Election System” that can speed up the canvassing of votes.

MGG seeks to encourage and empower grassroots and overseas Filipinos to monitor election results in real time and use available technology such as mobile phones and the Internet to protect the sanctity of the votes.

The coalition also seeks to guarantee the ability of overseas Filipinos to participate in and possibly influence the 2010 elections.

Direct mandate

On leadership development, MGG seeks to identify, empower and support “progressive political leaders who are sincere and effective in promoting reforms towards good governance.”

“We want to build awareness, get people to run, get good candidates to run, get people to register and get poll watchers from all walks of life,” Luz said.

Almonte, who was national security adviser to President Fidel Ramos, said that the mandate for Charter change must come directly from the people.

To ensure that any constitutional amendments would not benefit incumbent leaders, Almonte has proposed a referendum to be held simultaneously with the 2010 elections to ask the people if they wanted the Constitution amended.

If incumbent officials or those elected in 2010 would not benefit from the changes, Filipinos would likely vote “yes” in such a referendum, he said.


YVote news release in support of Task Force 2010 press conference (December 9, 2008)

December 9, 2008

Youth groups support call for electoral reform;
push for improved electoral processes through Web-based technology

The reform-oriented youth network, YouthVotePhilippines (YVote), expressed strong support for the call of civil society groups to push for urgent electoral reforms.

In a press conference held at Intramuros, YVote members joined Task Force 2010 in calling for the general registration of voters, the cleansing of the voters’ list, the enhancements of voters’ education and information campaigns on registration, and the full implementation of the automated election systems project.

“We, the members of Task Force 2010, will not stand idly by while the general welfare is sacrificed and our political institutions, including popular sovereignty through regular elections, are thoroughly undermined. We firmly believe that Congress and our political leaders should focus on more urgent concerns like electoral reforms rather than self-serving so-called ‘systemic changes’,” the group said in a statement.

“As a network… we have decided to unite together in the spirit of EDSA and push for genuine electoral reforms. Anchored on the fundamental tenet that the people are sovereign, Task Force 2010 hopes to mobilize each and every Filipino who loves this country to register and vote, in order to proactively partake in safeguarding our democracy.”

This event comes at the heels of a series of events that YVote held in Cebu, Davao, and Metro Manila between November 27 and December 7 to encourage the country’s over six million first-time voters to register for the May 2010 elections.

Improved voter registration process

Continuing voter registration resumed 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, www.comelec.gov.ph, already houses 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.


Group urges youths to register for 2010

December 2, 2008

PRESIDENTIAL POLLS
Group urges youths to register for 2010
Continuing registration for first-time voters to start today
news plus
By Elias O. Baquero
Sun.Star Cebu, December 2, 2008
Others Section, Page 10

SAYING no to disenfranchisement in 2010, the Youth Vote Philippines, urged first-time voters to register starting today so they can vote for the presidential elections.

Youth Vote Philippines is a group of progressive, reform-minded youth organizations working for voters’ education and empowerment. It is also the umbrella organization of the First Time Voters Network-Cebu composed of 17 youth organizations.

These are the Ayala Young Leaders Alliance-Cebu, Movement for the Advancement of Student Power UP Cebu, UV Political Science Society, Cebu Political Science Societies, Sobusteha Youth Association, Cogon Pardo Community Based Youth, SK Federation of Cebu, SK Federation of Liloan, Cebu; SK of Luz, Cebu City; SK of Mabolo, Cebu City; Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations, Akbayan Youth, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, National Youth Commission-Visayas, National Anti-Poverty Commission Youth and Student Sector, Center for Participatory Governance and the Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors.

They are federated to develop online and on-the-ground programs and events that will give young Filipinos the power of the vote and a clear voice for their collective aspirations.

11 million

In a press conference, Akbayan Spokesperson Ernie Edralin said young people comprise the majority of the voting population. For the young people ages 18-24 alone, the projected voting population of the National Statistics Office (NSO) in 2004 is 11 million.

Edralin said that five million, two million and six million first time voters were disenfranchised in the elections of 2001, 2004 and 2007, respectively, due insufficient information for new registrants.

“Our numbers show how crucial we are in the next elections. We would like to ensure that we will not have yet another case of millions of first time voters not having their chance to cast their first vote in 2010,” said First Time Voters project director Ailee Tejano.

Aside from the concern on the registration, the First Time Voters Project is a platform for new voters to put their stake and agenda for 2010.

Pro-active

The lessons of 2001, 2004 and 2007 and the current traditional political landscape gave us basis to be pro-active in encouraging fellow youths to participate and not allow ourselves to be muted in the electoral exercise that is very crucial in the coming months. If first time voters unite under a platform and choose better leaders that will transform the deteriorating situation that our country is now in, then we ensure the future we deserve. We can even elect the next president,” Tejano said.

As continuing registration will start today, Youth Vote Philippines will send 15 selected first time voters who will march from Plaza Independencia to the Comelec office at WDC Building, Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City and will give flowers to the Comelec staff on duty before they will register.


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.

 

 

__

Download the PDF file of the news release HERE