Comelec 7 pilots Register Anywhere Program to streamline voter registration

CEBU. A student joins the satellite voters registration at University of San Carlos Talamban campus on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.
CEBU. A student joins the satellite voters registration at University of San Carlos Talamban campus on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.Photo by Kaiser Jan Fuentes

THE regional electoral body has piloted the Register Anywhere Program (RAP) in Central Visayas to dismantle barriers and simplify the process for Filipinos to exercise their voting rights in the 2025 midterm elections.

Students, working personnel, and faculty members of the University of San Carlos (USC) were able to enjoy a one-day satellite voter registration event that was brought to their Talamban Campus in Cebu City on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

Meanwhile, a simultaneous voter education seminar was given by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) central office from Manila to the university students, so the youth would know about voters' rights, voters' responsibilities, and who to vote for.

Spokesperson Omar Sharif Mamalinta of Comelec Cebu said that through RAP, individuals are no longer confined to their local Comelec offices for registration. Instead, designated sites across the country will host Comelec facilities, serving as convenient hubs for voter registration.

He said participants can register to vote regardless of their current residence.

Mamalinta said RAP sites cater to various voter registration needs, ensuring accessibility and convenience for all. Aside from accommodating first-time voters, other services also include relocating, returning from overseas, or needing to correct information.

He said participants can also reactivate deactivated registration at any RAP site.


"For example, you are from Mandaluyong but you are residing now here in Cebu City to study in USC, you can still register here and vote in your hometown. It will be much easier since you do not need to travel anymore," Mamalinta said.

For first-year computer science student Shawn Clifford Veloso, 20, the event proved to be more convenient for students in registering.

Originally from Tacloban City in Leyte, Veloso said the event made the registration "easier and more accessible" for would-be first-time voters like himself. He was joined by three other classmates in registering.

Adrian Auman, an 18-year-old first-year industrial engineering student, echoed Veloso's sentiments, saying registering was easy for them because the event took place inside the campus. It was held at the School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design building.

He added that such events encourage youth participation in the upcoming elections, emphasizing the importance of casting their votes.

"Each vote has an effect on this country and local politics," he said.

Like Veloso, he and three other classmates registered together.

Mamalinta said they have assisted a total of 210 applicants at the registration in USC.

Voter s education

Meanwhile, Mamalinta said the voter s education seminar was led by Emmalyn Masongsong, of the Education Information Department in Comelec central office, at the university's Michael Richartz Center.

He said that around 500 students learned about their voter rights and responsibilities, this is on top of the topics such as why a voter is a disqualified candidate qualified in running, and important campaign rules.

"If they will have sufficient or enough knowledge on voter's education they will be able to vote wisely... We want to educate them on who to vote or who not to vote," he said.

Mamalinta added that other institutions may request to their office to conduct satellite registration such as RAP in different areas, such as malls, universities, and barangays.

But he specified that there must be at least 200 registrants.

The nationwide implementation of RAP aims to provide more options and opportunities for voter registration in areas with higher concentrations of foot traffic and gatherings of individuals eligible to vote. (KJF)


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