First Time Voters Network Welcomes the Extension of Registration hours in COMELEC but…

22 10 2009

Official Press Release

October 22, 2009

The youth group filed its petition last 15 October 2009 in the COMELEC National Office to ask for an extension of the voters registration for one month in areas severely affected by Ondoy and Pepeng [Regions I to III (Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon regions), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), National Capital Region (NCR) and Rizal province] and for one week in the other remaining regions nationwide.

“We appreciate COMELEC’s move to give more time for the voters’ registration. We just hope that people will come out in numbers to register and we hope that the Commission can handle them,” says FTV spokesperson Helen Joy Paulino.

COMELEC late last year announced that one Data Capturing Machine (DCM) could handle at best, 100 applicants a day. This, they later, clarified was only a way to standardize the results of voters’ registration every day, machine operators  could accept more applicants if they wish to.

DCM’s are used to digitally capture the biometric data of applicants, a requirement in the poll automation next year. There’s at least one DCM per local Election Office.

“COMELEC had intended and promised to give out more data capturing machines several months back to speed up the registration process but for whatever reason the new machines never came and we are just wary over COMELEC’s capacity to facilitate the influx of people in the coming days,” adds Gio Tingson, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines National Spokesperson and Ateneo Sanggunian Chairperson.

The network said that they received some feedbacks from their volunteers on the ground regarding the registration process at present and that the reports were not exactly surprising but were starting to become alarming.

“For instance, our members from Marikina had mentioned that the lines for registration in their COMELEC office were out of order already, there were lots people registering, and obviously the COMELEC staff were outnumbered. We really hope that Typhoon Ramil will not aggravate this predicament which is true not only for Marikina but for other areas as well” says FTV NCR Coordinator, Leandro Perez.

The network had gone out last Friday, 16 October 2009, to give out flyers on voters’ registration to students in Manila, Quezon City and Mandaluyong.

“We are asking students to register this sembreak, it’s very crucial that they recognize the urgency and importance of this matter. Obviously, a lot of young people were inspired to help out in the recent tragedies and we hope that this will translate into a deeper desire to effect change in our overall system of governance and politics,” states Tingson.

The group is continuously encouraging young people to register in the local COMELEC offices until October 31, 2009, the voters’ registration deadline. With several activities lined up in the next 2 weeks, FTV Network hopes to get the most number of young people registered for the May 2010 elections.


First Time Voters Petition to Extend Voters’ Registration

15 10 2009


October 15, 2009

The Honorable Commissioners of the

Commission on Elections

Through:                Hon. Jose A.R. Melo


Re:                          Request to extend voters’ registration deadline

Honorable Commissioners:

The First Time Voters (FTV, for brevity) Project is a conglomeration of youth and student organizations with the common goal of raising the political participation and consciousness of first time voters through voters’ education. Since its inception in 2001, it has initiated campaigns and activities in line with this thrust.

In a petition dated 23 September 2008, the network appealed to this Commission to adopt four proposals to make the registration process more accessible to young people, some of which were graciously adopted, to which the network is very much grateful for.

However, the network, through recent COMELEC data, was able to learn that the number of actual new voters as of 31 July 2009 is estimated to be only 1.6 million. This number, if compared with the NSO projection of a rough high estimate of nine million new voters in 2010, is unarguably very small.

100_1649The network, as in its previous petition, upholds the right of the people to register as a precondition to the exercise of the constitutional right to suffrage. Yet, despite the media hype to encourage more young people to register, apparently, a lot of them still have not gone out of their way to do so. This predicament has to be confronted not only by the government but by civil society groups as well. Thus, FTV is tripling its efforts to boost its registration campaign in schools and communities.

This unexpected low registration turnout has been further complicated by the devastation that the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng have caused. A lot of our fellow Filipinos in the National Capital Region and the Northern Luzon area are still focused on rebuilding their lives after the recent tragedies that hit them.

It is in this context that we, in the FTV Project, propose to extend the registration period in the Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Regions for another week and in the National Capital Region and Northern Luzon area for another month.

The COMELEC has proven that it is serious in ensuring the enfranchisement of young people in the coming 2010 elections by approving FTV proposals on satellite registration centers, special Saturday registration and by making the registration forms available for download online. In this light, FTV is asking the Commission to take this initiative to one more level by allowing more time for our young people to register especially those who were adversely affected by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

FTV commits itself to conduct mobilizations of young people in the remaining days of the registration period in all of its chapters nationwide, specifically in Davao City, Davao del Norte, General Santos City, Iligan City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Manila City, Quezon City, Las Pinas City, Makati City, Rizal Province, Bulacan and other areas which may be tapped by the network.

The network believes that the above stated reasons merit COMELEC’s support and consideration. As the next national election nears, FTV network looks forward to a democratic exercise which will reflect the voice and aspiration of this nation’s new breed of electorate.

We pray for this body’s favorable response.


Paula Bianca Lapuz

National Coordinator, FTV Project

Secretary General, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines

Executive Director, Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking

Rachel Ann Santos

President, Union of Catholic Student Councils

President, Sanggunian  ng mga Mag-aaral ng Miriam

Debbie Cabanag

Sectoral Representative, National Anti-Poverty Commission Youth and Students

Rechie Tugawin

Coordinator, Generation Peace Network

Liza Dizon

Representative, Philippine Business School of Business Administration

Millicent Pangilinan

De La Salle University Taft,  Manila Student Council

Helen Joy Paulino

Movement for the Advancement of Student Power,

Philippine Normal University Manila

Catherine Calopez

Secretary-General, Philippine Normal University Manila Student Government

Leimira Buenaventura

Adamson LINGAP

Viktor Fontanilla

University of the Philippines Diliman Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran

Beverly Lumbera

University of the Philippines Diliman BUKLOD CSSP

Joseph Sotto Wijesekara

Director of External Affairs, Sangguniang Mag-aaral ng Ateneo

John Tobit E. Cruz

Chairperson, Sangguniang Kabtaan

Angela Abala

University of the Philippines Manila University Student Council

Machris Cabreros

Chairperson, Akbayan Youth

Michael Pamintuan

University of Asia and the Pacific Student Executive Board

Ailee Tejano

Coordinator, FTV Cebu

Gibby Gorres

Coordinator, SCAP Iloilo

Wharson Arguelles

Coordinator, FTV Iloilo

Karen Abellana

Coordinator, FTV Davao

Jan Dacumos

Coordinator, SCAP Northern Luzon

Notes from my Experience as a Newly-Registered Vote

22 05 2009

First Published May 3, 2009 at 9:30am

First Time Voters’ Network Ning site

Three days ago (Thursday), I went to the Quezon City Hall with Pepi, Cars, Drew and Karla to get myself registered for the 2010 national elections. After a couple of boo-boos, we finally got ourselves registered. Drew and Karla didn’t though (I’ll talk about that later haha).

Now that I’m a registered voter, I’m not being a hypocrite anymore by urging others to do so. And now I can’t just complain by doing nothing; I can vote first, and then if it doesn’t turn out to be a good vote, then I can have the right to complain. (I think this is one of the key points in Ma’am Geoann’s class)

Some thoughts:

* If possible, don’t go when it’s raining, especially if you’re from District 1 or 2.

* If you can, call up the COMELEC Office before you go there just to make sure they’re there. Drew and Karla were supposed to register in the District 4 office, but it turned out that the people manning that office were holding a satellite voters’ registration in Camp Crame. [Sorry guys dinala ko pa kayo!]

* Asking where the line for registration is not enough, ask where the registration line for your DISTRICT is. We made a mistake of asking where registration line was, and ended up falling in line with the District 2 voters. When we reached the window where our IDs will be processed, sabi nila sa kabila raw ang District 3. Wahahaha! Sayang yung 20 minutes namin. Minsan kasi yung iba walang sign kung aling district yung pila, so be careful.

* Kung may pila sa district niyo, huwag kayo masindak. Fall in line like anyone else. Talk to people. What I did was ask the person beside me if we needed to present a birth certificate aside from an official ID. I knew that the answer was no but I just wanted to make sure and at the same time be at ease with the people. One nanay asked me to join her if she gets to the window first. Ang bait ng nanay na yun, pero buti na lang din hindi namin kinuha kasi baka magalit yung mga nasa likod namin. At yun nga, District 2 yung napilahan namin. Hehe.

* Talk to the officers in the registration booth. Sometimes they look masungit but they have a fun side in them. If you’re from Katipunan, I advise you to ask them what you’ll write in the space provide for your address — Katipunan Ave. or C.P. Garcia.

I hope people will register already while it’s still relatively early. October 31, 2009 is the deadline. Just bring a valid ID with your name, address, picture and signature on it. And photocopy it. 🙂

Author is Kurt Dion T. Cendana, an officer of Ateneo Saggunian

First-time voters hope to make a difference

11 05 2009

THE youth group First Time Voters (FTV) Network on Sunday hang a big streamer with the slogan “Magparehistro. Bumoto. May Pag-asa pa. (Register. Vote. Transform.)” at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila as a reminder of the urgency to register for the 2010 elections.

Youth leaders from Manila, Makati, Quezon City and Mandaluyong gathered in Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila, participated in the activity by giving passersby and onlookers flyers on the registration process at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“FTV Network is very much excited about the hype that different civil-society groups are creating at present in order to encourage our young people to register for the May 2010 elections,” Paula Bianca Lapuz, FTV national convenor, said.

The FTV project started in 2001 as a national campaign to extend the registration for 5-million disfranchised first-time voters.

“Our coming out today is also in solidarity with all the reform groups that believe that there are still ways by which we can achieve genuine and lasting change in our country,” Lapuz said.

The group initially launched its voters’ registration information drive in Isabela, Iligan and Rizal last month, and is gearing up for another series, including Cebu, Iloilo, Bohol, Zamboanga, Butuan and General Santos City.

“There’s still hope that our country would recover from the blows of dirty politics if only the Filipino citizens, most especially the young people, will work collectively to create transformative politics,” said Helen Joy Paulino, national spokesperson of FTV.

The network explained that 2010 is a very good opportunity for the youth to come out of their comfort zones and claim their stakes in one of the most fundamental democratic practices in the country, the national election. The 2010 elections will hopefully be the first year for the 9 million new voters to cast their votes.

It emphasized that in 2010, roughly 60 percent of the electorate will come from the age bracket of 18 to 40 years old, thus, first illustrating the young people’s potential political force.

As the registration deadline approaches, the FTV Network gave assurances there will be real- time mass registration for young people in Comelec offices in all of FTV areas nationwide.

“We still have a few months left until the next national elections. Let us get involved one way or another. This is a job that we [young people] have to do together,” Lapuz said.

The activity was supported by the organizations Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, Movement for the Advancement of Student Power and Akbayan Youth and nongovernment organization Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking.

Source: Business Mirror

First Time Voters Network Registration Center in Makati

12 03 2009


COMELEC OKs voters’ registration on Saturdays and Holidays

12 02 2009

Good news for students and workers.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) today announced that the ongoing voter’s registration will be extended on Saturdays and Holidays in order to accommodate the students and busy workers.

The poll body has resolved to amend certain portions of COMELEC Resolution No. 8514, promulgated November 12, 2008, which provided the rules and regulations governing the resumption of the system of continuing registration of voters nationwide, excluding the ARMM.

Among the portions amended in the said resolution, the COMELEC said, are Sections 4 which outlined the date, time and places of filing of applications, hearing and approval; and Section 6 which provided that persons who have not yet reached the required voting age or period of residence but will posses the same on or before the day of the elections may only register starting May 12, 2009.

COMELEC Resolution 8585, promulgated February 12, 2009, said that “there are compelling reasons for the amendments being sought in order for the Commission to accomplish the pre-election activities in pursuit of its mandate to conduct clean, honest, orderly, peaceful, and credible May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections.”

“There is a public clamor to open registration during Saturday to accommodate the youth-students and the busy workers, who have no time to register during the weekdays,” the COMELEC en banc said.

The COMELEC also recognized the need to encourage wider voter participation and to recognize the youth’s important role in nation building.

“As they (the youth) will comprise the majority of the first time registrants, the Commission deemed it best to lift the afore-cited time limitation in Secs. 6 and to provide additional registration days and holidays falling on weekdays, except Holy Thursday and Good Friday on April 9 and 10, 2009,” the COMELEC ruled. ###


First week of voters’ registration in the NCR: 15,000 registered to vote

12 12 2008

The ongoing voters’ registration in the National Capital Region (NCR) has yielded an initial turn-out of 15,358 registrants, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) reported today. The poll body said the number included not only those who’ll be voting for the first time in the May 10, 2010 elections but also those who have applied for reactivation, transfer and correction of entries in their registration records.

COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez said the city of Manila yielded the most number of registrants during the first week of the registration period with 2,659 applicants; followed by Quezon City with 1,885. Meanwhile, a total of 1,347 applied for registration in the City of Muntinlupa, while Las Piñas produced 1,321 and Caloocan, 1,129; said Jimenez.

The COMELEC spokesman said the poll body is pleased with the impressive initial registration turn-out.

“The influx of registrants at this early juncture shows the peoples’ renewed faith in the electoral system. This is a telling sign that the Filipino people, most especially the youth, are raring to go to the polls and this is certainly good news for the country’s democracy” he said, noting that the bulk of the first week’s registrants in the NCR came from the ranks of the youth.

He called on the public to take advantage of the yearlong voters’ registration period which started December 2, 2008 and will last until December 15 next year. For inquiries and updates on the registration process, voters are urged to visit the COMELEC’s official website and the COMELEC Education and Information Department’s blog: . ###