By: Patricia Yap
The 2022 Philippine Elections is fast approaching, and so is the deadline for voter registration. Although The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has surpassed its target number of 4 million new voter registrants, a great deal of Filipinos are still unregistered. While each person has their reason for not registering, there are some people who are just confused about the steps they need to take.
And with barely two weeks left to register for the upcoming 2022 Philippine Elections, SEA Wave has got your back. Here are the steps you need to take to become a registered voter.
Step 1: Discern your eligibility to vote
Before anything else, the most important thing is to make sure that you are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections. You must be a Filipino citizen, at least 18 years old on or before the election day (May 9, 2022), a resident of the Philippines for at least one year, and a resident of the area where you intend to vote for at least six months.
Just in case you did not meet all of the qualifications listed above, then it’s still not your time to be a registered voter. But if you did, then you can proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Prepare and fill out the required forms
Step 2 is where the process can start to get a bit confusing for a lot of people. This is because the small details are often left undiscussed such as the paper size, ink color, and the like.
First, you need to fill out a registration and application form (CEF-1) and a Coronavirus Self Declaration Form. For persons with disabilities (PWD) and indigenous peoples, however, they’ll also need to fill out a supplementary data form (Annex B) in addition to the first two forms.
Moreover, senior citizens without disabilities and pregnant women do not have to fill this form unless they need assistance when registering due to disabilities or being heavily pregnant.
And while we already linked each form for you, you can still view the entire list here.
If you don’t want to or you can’t print the forms at home, you can also claim and fill them out on the spot in your respective COMELEC office but remember to bring your own black or blue ballpen and to observe health and safety protocols.
For additional details you need to take into consideration when preparing and answering the forms, please see our guide below.
In case you do not want to manually fill up the forms, you may fill them up digitally through the iRehistro website. Just follow the additional details stated above when printing your digitally filled-out forms.
After this, you may proceed to step 3.
Step 3: Prepare and bring the required ID/IDs
Now that you have your forms ready, it’s time to prepare the IDs that will help COMELEC verify your identity and voter eligibility.
First, here are the IDs that are permissible to bring.
Remember as well that the ID (or IDs, for backup) that you will bring must include your full name, picture, present address and birthdate. If your chosen ID does not contain all the details listed, be ready to provide supporting/additional documents.
For example, you may provide proof of your present address through a Lease Contract and/or Proof of Billing. For students, you may bring your school registration form and/or library card.
Once you’ve selected the ID (or IDs) you want to bring, don’t forget to bring the original ID and a photocopy of its front and back. We recommend bringing more than one photocopy just in case.
Step 4: Prepare and bring the supporting documents
Almost there! You just have to prepare a few more supporting documents: your Birth Certificate, issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA); Annex B (Supplementary Data Form), if you meet the criteria to fill this out; and supporting documents for your ID/IDs.
Step 5: Go to your local COMELEC Office
You’re finally done with all the preparations. Congratulations! It’s high time that you submit the documents you worked so hard to accomplish.
To know your COMELEC office, simply search the name of your city together with the words “COMELEC, COMELEC office, or local COMELEC office”.
While it is okay for some COMELEC Offices to welcome walk-ins, there’s still the possibility of needing to book an appointment first, so it’s better to contact your local COMELEC office to ask about this.
Once your appointment is booked (or you decided on a date for a walk-in), you’re pretty much set! All you need to do now is go to your local COMELEC office and follow their respective procedures.
While all the municipalities have varying registration protocols, you can expect similar or same procedures like filling out contact tracing forms, having an Election Officer review and have you sign your forms, digitizing and logging in your application into the Election Registration Board’s (ERB) system, biometrics capturing where they’ll take your photo, digital signature and fingerprints and receiving your registration stub (acknowledgment receipt).
Do not lose your registration stub under any circumstance. Keep it safe and in a place that you will remember.
There may be other steps in between depending on your municipality, so the process could take shorter or longer. But all-in-all, you are finally done!
Of course, you’re not an officially registered voter yet because the COMELEC still has to review your registration. However, go on and celebrate responsibly at home now that you’ve done the first part of your journey with the upcoming 2022 Philippine Elections. All that’s left to do is to vote wisely!