COMELEC: New Voter's Registration Procedures
Hurray for a productive day! After about a year of procrastinating my trip to the COMELEC, I've finally put up enough energy to fend off my laziness and delaying tactics, haha! I badly need to register myself as new voter because of two reasons: (1) it's almost October 31 (registration deadline for the May 2016 elections) and (2) voting is both a responsibility and privilege of every Filipino.
Since I'm residing in Quezon City, I headed to the Quezon City Hall where COMELEC has an office. From time to time, COMELEC sets up satellite registrations (servicing voters for 2-3 days) in barangay halls for the voters' convenience so it's best to be updated of your barangay's activities. My barangay had one set up sometime last summer but because of pure laziness, I wasn't able to register in their Satellite Office.
For starters, here's what you'll need to bring:
1. Valid ID (see list of valid ID cards) and a photocopy of it (make sure that your signature, name, photo and address appear on the photocopy).
* TIP: Photocopy your ID (back to back in one page) in a photocopying store near you because the photocopying service right in front of District 2 COMELEC Office (QC City Hall) charges way too much. I got my ID photocopied back to back (1 page) and it costed me Php 4!
For people residing in Quezon City, you may head to the COMELEC office inside the Quezon City Hall compound. Here are instructions to get there:
◙ If you're coming from Commonwealth Avenue area, ride any bus (EXCEPT for those bound to Quiapo) and alight in front of the NKTI Diagnostic Center (near Elliptical Road). There's a pedestrian lane right in front of NKTI. Walk to the other side and make sure you're in Mayaman Street (check the street post sign). Once in Mayaman St, walk straight - no worries since it's a short walk (2-3 minute of walking). Once you pass by the Quezon City Public Library, you're almost there.
◙ Still from Commonwealth Ave area, you may also ride a jeepney with signboard KALAYAAN / ALIMALL. Get off at Gate 7. Once inside Gate 7, walk a bit and to your left you will see the HALL OF JUSTICE. Walk until you reach the back of the Hall of Justice. From there, it's fairly easy to spot the COMELEC offices.
◙ If you're coming from Cubao area/EDSA, ride a bus going to SM FAIRVIEW/TUNGKO. Get off at Mayaman Street, it's right after Heart Center (check the street post sign). Once in Mayaman St, walk straight - no worries since it's a short walk (2-3 minute of walking). Once you pass by the Quezon City Public Library, you're almost there.
Take note though that COMELEC offices are set up according to districts. So it's best that you know to what district your barangay belongs to. In the case that you're not quite sure what your disctrict is, fret not because they've set up quite a lot of information bulletins. Anyhow, to view the complete list of Quezon City barangays and districts, go here.
It's fairly easy to register (even if you're a new voter) because there are step-by-step procedures posted conspicuously:
Step 1 and 2: Submit your photocopied ID in the window (seen below). They'll ask you questions like "First time mag-apply?", "Hindi ka pa registered sa kahit anong precinct?" Afterwards, they'll staple your photocopied ID together with 3 application forms.
Step 3: Fill out all three (3) application forms. There are no tables around so bahala ka na dumiskarte kung paano ka magfi-fill. Haha. If you're worried that you might make mistakes, make sure to bring a correction tape/liquid because I'm not sure if they'll give you another copy. Once done, you'll need to submit your accomplished forms to the window directly beside (left) of the window (labeled with Step 1 and Step 2). The clerk in Step 3 window will check if you have accomplished your forms completely. Afterwards, s/he will write your Application Number and Precinct Number (found at the topmost part of the forms).
* T I P: You may actually opt out of manually filling up the forms by downloading and typing in the information in the application forms. You may download COMELEC's application forms here. (Print only the FIRST PAGE). For a complete list of COMELEC's downloadables, click here.
* T I P: I've checked (red marks) all the areas that you need to fill out for your convenience:
STEP 4, 5 and 6: Once you already have your application number and precinct number (filled out by the clerk at Step 3 Window), go inside the glass doors (same area). Ask someone around and show that you have accomplished your forms. They will then direct you in front of a computer to have your photo, signature and thumbprints taken. After that, they will cut the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT RECEIPT (bottom part of the application form) and give it to you. It is very important that you keep this because you'll need to show this when you vote.
Aaaaaaand, you're done!
You're finally a registered voter! :)
You're finally a registered voter! :)
COMPILATION OF TIPS AND NOTES:
♦ Photocopy your ID (back to back in one page) in a photocopying store near you because the photocopying service right in front of District 2 COMELEC Office (QC City Hall) charges way too much. I got my ID photocopied back to back (1 page) and it costed me Php 4!
♦ You may opt out of manually filling up the forms by downloading and typing in the information in the application forms. You may download COMELEC's application forms here. (Print only the FIRST PAGE). For a complete list of COMELEC's downloadables, click here.
♦ The registration process is actually fast - dun ka lang matatagalan sa filling out of the three forms.
♦ Make sure to bring a black ballpen and correction tape/liquid.
♦ I went at the registration around lunch time, and there only a few people around (hence the fast registration process - took me only 20 minutes or less). The thing is, people tend to go to government offices way too early in the morning kaya marami kang kasabayan sa umaga. Come lunch or after lunch, konti na lang ang mga tao so that's the best time to go there. BUT, take note that voter registration for the May 2016 elections is only until October 31, 2015. So expect that as the deadline draws nearer, the volume of people will get higher.
♦ Based on my own experience, there's no need for you to bring a copy of your birth certificate (not sure if this applies to all cases and offices).