“Is that all that you do?” This is always the question posed by most voters. They always have this impression that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has the basic task of accepting registrants every election season and eventually administer elections every after three years. So, what does the COMELEC do during off-election season? In RA 8189 (Act Providing for General Registration of Voters Adopting a System of Continuing Registration, Prescribing the Procedures Thereof and Authorizing the Appropriation of Funds Therefore, June 7, 1996), the COMELEC has adopted the continuing system of registration. Unlike before, the COMELEC conducts registration a few weeks before elections. Since the passage of RA 8189, registration and other services are already available daily, during office hours even during off-election season, as a matter of fact, right after the May elections, COMELEC offices open its offices for
registration, etc..starting July onwards until the period for filing certificates of candidacy for the next elections.
Some of the applications that COMELEC accepts, other than applications for voters’ registration are: 1) Applications for transfer of registration records; 2) Applications for reactivation; 3) Applications for Change of name by reason of marriage or court order or by the Civil Registrar or Consul General; 4) Applications for correction of entry/entries in the Registration Records; 5) Applications for Reinstatement of a Registered Voter whose name has been omitted in the List of Voters; 6) Applications for inclusion of registration record not included in the precinct book of voters. All of these are provided for under COMELEC Resolution no. 10549 (Rules and Regulations on the Resumption of the System of Continuing Registration of Voters, July 18, 2019). These are still available amidst the occurrence of the pandemic but with the inclusion of certain health protocols that must be strictly followed.
The COMELEC also encourages all field offices to conduct voter’s education and information, such as this publication. Registration of voters, while it is the most popular task that the COMELEC does, is not only the work that it has. Find out more and a complete discussion about this topic on May 14, 2021 at the Balitaktakan slot of RNG Luzon at 8:30 am.
***All comments mentioned in this article are made in my personal capacity as a lawyer and
are not made as an employee of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).