Manila Bulletin – The journey for voter registration

By Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal | Manila Bulletin

By the time you’ll read this, I’ll be on the road somewhere in Mindanao. I’ll be continuing on the journey to get as many people to register as voters, before the deadline of September 31, 2021. The advocacy to get people to register as voters is something I continue to do, even after retiring as commissioner, way back in February, 2011. Together with getting more people informed about the processes involved in an election, no matter what kind of electoral exercise, be it manual, automated, hybrid, online, etc.

While driving around, it’s important to emphasize that following health and safety protocols mandated by the national government and LGUs is a must. A RT-PRC test before every trip is required. I also do one as soon as I get home from a trip. In the vehicle I drive, I have a sufficient number of face shields, face masks, alcohol, wipes, etc.

While driving around the Philippines before the pandemic, I could eat wherever I liked, including hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Now, I have to be more cautious. When driving across regions, especially in Luzon, I find myself eating in fastfood restaurants. I do the drive-thru and pull-over and eat on the side of the road. If I eat in restaurants, I ask friends in the locality on their recommendations. The basis now for choosing places to eat is not only how good the food is, but also how safe is the place to go to. I have observed that people are disciplined, and they follow government regulations. Especially in wearing of facemasks and other health protocols.

With the world still in a pandemic, and quarantine restrictions imposed in different levels all over the country, there is a hesitancy of some people to go and register as a voter. However, there are innovations done by Comelec to help make it more convenient.

Some friends helped in making a video to encourage people to register as voters. Please click the link below to watch the video:

A big thanks to Doris Jimenez, Marlon Rivera, Steph Ongkiko, Lester Codog, and Denise Bigtas in making this video happen. We hope that this, together with activities planned, not only encourages others to register as a voter, but, more importantly, answer the common questions people have on how to register as a voter.

In encouraging people to register as voters, WE, meaning you, the reader, your family, friends, me, and others have to work together to get as many people to register as voters. Encouraging people to register must and should transcend politics. It doesn’t matter what side of the political fence you belong in, what your political beliefs are, or who you support. Getting people to register is a basic democratic activity. This is a journey WE take, TOGETHER.

Let’s also get people to register as early as possible. By the time we reach July, August, and September, knowing how some tend to procrastinate, the lines at the Comelec city/municipal offices will be longer and the time it takes to finish registering as a voter will take longer. Also knowing how some people will react when they see long lines, they will simply get turned off and decide not to register.

If you have questions on the process of registering as a voter, please refer to my previous column:

Are you ready to make a change?

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Together, let’s get as many people to register as voters.

 

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