Calling all eligible voters who are not yet registered to vote, now’s your chance to do so before the deadline slips.
Related: Exercising My Right To Vote: Gen Z Voters On What It Was Like To Vote For The First Time
If there was one major theme of 2022, it was the elections, and more importantly, the need for active participation in political and civil society. The 2022 Philippine presidential elections saw a record-breaking 65.7 million registered voters, which included 5.4 million first-time voters. In that total, over 56%, or 37 million, were between the ages of 18-41. That meant that more than half of the electorate was made mostly of Gen Z and Millennials.
As we saw with the elections, which saw also saw record-breaking turnout at 83%, and what’s happening to the country now, voting and political participation are important. And for those who are hoping to help bring about change, you can begin with the first step as COMELEC is currently holding voter registration efforts until the end of January 2023.
Beginning on December 12, 2022, and lasting until January 31, 2023, COMELEC is currently allowing eligible but unregistered voters to get their names on the rolls. This also applies to people who are transferring their voter registration or reactivating their status. So, if you moved since May 2022 or learned last minute that your status to vote last time was invalid, now is the time to fix that. All this serves in the lead-up to the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections later this year and already, over one million people have registered, inching ever so closer to COMELEC’s 1.5 million new registrants.
Some of you may be thinking that voting in a barangay election is not worth your time since it’s not a major election. But as we learned in this past year, we shouldn’t just care about who represents us at the top, but at all levels of the government, and the barangay is the most basic yet equally important. This will be your chance to vote for a barangay captain and council who represent your values and advocate for the needs of the community.
While not as high profile as other positions, barangay councilors have a near direct say how your local community and surroundings are run. As for the Sangguniang Kabataan, these people will be tasked to come up with the youth programs in your community. And becoming a registered voter will make you eligible for future elections, such as the 2025 midterm elections where you vote for twelve senators, your representative in congress, and more.
NEW YEAR, NEW VOTER
Unlike national elections, barangay elections are open to people who are 15 years old and up. So, if you’re 15 on or before October 30, 2023, you can register. And don’t worry about your status for national elections, once you turn 18 before the 2025 elections, you’ll be automatically eligible to vote. Meanwhile, people turning 18 before or by October 30 can register to become a regular voter.
To register to vote, head to your nearest COMELEC office. They will be open from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Saturday. Select SM and Robinsons malls around the country will also operate satellite COMELEC offices. Make sure to bring a valid government ID or school ID when you go. You can find your local COMELEC office here if you have any questions or concerns.
Avoid that late rush and register as soon as possible. Gen Z and Millennials make up a majority of voters in this country. You don’t have to go far to see the problems of the country, from record inflation to onions that cost more than minimum wage which is why we need leaders who have real solutions to address them. Start your 2023 with some really important changes. Take these wise words from Mathilda Airlines:
@mathildaairlinesofficial Register and Vote Now! 💚🇵🇭 #fyp #mathilda #mathildaairlines #mathildamlbb #mlbb ♬ original sound – Mathilda Airlines Official ✈️