In the Philippines, voting is a right and a duty of every citizen. This year, the Philippine elections will be held on May 9, 2022. It’s important to cast your vote and make it count because your vote is your voice. As a citizen, you have the power to choose the leaders that you want to represent you and lead our country. Here are the steps on how to vote as a Filipino in the upcoming Philippine elections.
Please be guided on the voting registration process, voting schedule, how to find your polling place, and what you need to bring with you when you go to vote. It will also explain how the voting process works and what you can do if something goes wrong at the polling place.
Living as a country citizen is not an easy feat. More often than not, you deal with problems or suffer because of poor quality of life. What if we tell you that you can actually do something about most of these problems and suffering? You simply have to vote.
Filipinos take voting very seriously. In Philippine elections, we vote for our preferred candidate in order to elect the country’s president, vice president, and members of both houses of Congress. We typically vote based on the candidate’s platform and policies.
Filipinos also consider the candidate’s personality and character when making their decision. The Philippines has a long history of corruption, so we also take into account which candidate is more likely to fight corruption. Voting is very important to us because it is one way that they can participate in the democratic process and have a say in who governs their country.
Voting Schedule in the 2022 National and Local Elections (NLE)
According to Section 2 of RA 7166, the Philippines, including the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as per RA 10153, is all set to hold the next synchronized National and Local Elections (NLE) on Monday, May 9, 2022.
On this day, about 65.7 million Filipinos will head to various polling precincts to vote and exercise their rights over electoral activities. This election will give the Philippines its own chance at doing so under the continuing threat of a pandemic. This scenario has never been experienced in any of the past Philippine elections.
You might ask: why does one even have to vote? Some may tell you that there is no point in voting since the electoral systems will be rigged anyway. But, voting is more than just a system of choosing leaders. It’s everyone’s responsibility, a way to express an opinion to make your voices heard, and an essential part of the democracy we all cherish.
Whether it’s about social issues, community development, or governance, the synchronized National and Local Elections (NLE) on May 9 is a privilege enjoyed by all registered Filipino voters to have a say in who will embody their ideals and interest and represent them for the next three (3) or six (6) years.
Guide to Voting in the 2022 National and Local Elections
As promised, we will walk you through the steps you need to take to vote in the upcoming national and local leaders’ election on May 9.
For the 2022 Elections, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) released a 1,275-page “New Normal” manual. This manual details all activities, guidelines, and everything we can expect regarding the elections, from pre-election to post-election.
As far as voting requirements are concerned, you only need to bring a few things to the designated polling precinct.
- Voter’s certificate or voter’s ID
- A valid identification document to prove you are who you claim to be.
Here are some of the acceptable valid IDs that you can bring:
– Employee’s ID with employer’s signature
– Postal ID
– PWD ID
– Student’s ID or a library card, signed by the school authority
– Senior citizen’s ID
– Driver’s license
– NBI clearance
– SSS/GSIS ID
– Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID
– A license issued by the Professional Regulatory Commission
– For indigenous peoples or members of indigenous cultural communities, a certificate of confirmation from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
– Any other valid ID
– Police clearance and cedulas are not accepted.
Suppose you do not have any of these identification documents. You “may be identified under oath by any registered voter of the precinct where you intend to be registered, or by your relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.
- A list of who to vote for (optional)
While it is okay to bring a list, campaign materials are not allowed inside the polling precincts.
- You face mask and face shield (if applicable)
- Drinking water to stay cool as the lines can get long.
- Companion (optional)
For voters who need assistance, like persons with disabilities (PWDs), you are allowed to bring a companion to help. However, the teachers who serve as election workers are also on standby to assist voters.
As for qualifications, you only really need to be a registered voter in the precinct that you are visiting on election day.
However, if you’re unable to register during the voter’s registration period, you will have to wait for the next registration period to open. Make sure you are qualified by checking on the following qualification criteria:
- You must be a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines.
- You are a resident of the place where you intend to register for at least six months.
- You must be at least 18 years of age on or before the election date
- You have not been adjudged as mentally incapable by a court or a competent authority.
- You are adjudicated as free from committing any disloyalty liaising against the government, such as rebellion or sedition.
Suppose your voter’s registration has been deactivated or transferred to another precinct. You will have to verify your voter registration status first, then proceed to reactivate or transfer as needed.
What to expect at the 2022 National and Local Elections (NLE)
According to COMELEC’s “New Normal” manual, aside from the same old electoral activities like sorties and campaigns introducing the candidates, here’s what all Filipinos can expect come election day when they cast their votes in the “new normal.”
- Longer voting period
Compared to the previous elections, Filipinos can expect longer voting hours on May 9 as the doors of polling precincts will open at precisely 6 am and accommodate voters up to 7 pm instead of 6pm.
According to Commissioner Marlon Casquejo, “It [the voting] will continue until all those inside or within 30 meters are catered.”
- COVID-19 tests and vaccination cards will not be required.
There is nowhere in the 1,275 pages of the “New Normal” manual that says Filipino voters will be required to present a COVID-19 vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test result, which is consistent with the statements that COMELEC officials gave in the past.
- Fully vaccinated individuals will be prioritized in the selection of electoral board members.
Though voters won’t be required to present their vaccination cards or negative COVID test results, it is slightly different for electoral board members. Though not required, those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with no comorbidities, and are below 60 years old will be given preference in the selection process.
- Standard COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be implemented.
Though it won’t be so strict as to require vaccination cards and negative COVID test results, the poll body will implement standard health and safety protocols during the elections. That said, regular observances like physical distancing, hand sanitation and temperature check before entry, and wearing face masks will be strictly monitored.
The COMELEC advises voters in areas above alert levels one (1) to three (3) to always wear face shields. Barriers will also be set up between electoral workers and voters, and medical personnel and anti-COVID-19 marshals will be deployed in each precinct.
Whether or not they will require the submission of COVID-19 health declaration forms is still yet to be decided though they are keen on doing away with the forms to avoid congestion.
- There won’t be any cap on the number of people to be allowed to vote simultaneously.
The COMELEC says they will adopt the process they implemented during the October 2021 election dry run. That means there would be no cap on the number of people who can cast their votes simultaneously. However, the electoral board reserves the right and authority to decrease the number of voters allowed to cast their ballots simultaneously inside the room if the headcount exceeds 50% of the place’s capacity.
- The election will remain automated.
Just as it was with the May 2010 NLE, 2013 NLE, May 2016 NLE, and the May 2019 NLE, the May 2022 NLE will also be automated per RA 9369.
The automation will cover the following:
– Vote counting in the precincts;
– Consolidation of precinct results;
– Transmission of precinct results to the juridical city/municipality canvassing board;
– Canvassing of precinct results in the district, city, and municipal levels;
– Proclamation of winning candidates in the district, city, and municipal levels;
– Transmission of the district, city, municipal canvassing results to the provincial canvassing board, and the highly urbanized city results to the national canvassing board;
– Canvassing of city/municipal results at the provincial level;
– Proclamation of winning candidates at the provincial level;
– Transmission of the highly urbanized city and provincial results to the national canvassing board; and
– Canvassing provincial and highly urbanized city results, including overseas results, at the national level.
Step by Step Voting Process in Local Philippine Elections
Before heading out to vote, please follow the guidelines below so are aware of the steps you need to take during local election day:
1. Decide on what time you will vote.
From 6 am to 7 pm, all polling precincts will be open all over the country, as COMELEC expects longer queues with an estimated maximum of about 1,000 voters per vote-counting machine (VCM). Choose the most convenient time for you to cast your votes.
2. Double-check and find the location of your polling precinct.
To find the location where you are registered to cast your vote, you may visit COMELEC’s online precinct finder, call the hotline number at 526-7769, or visit any COMELEC field office.
3. Prepare your personal cheat sheet before election day.
Prepare a list of who you will be voting for before the actual election day. The COMELEC advises voters to decide who to vote for before the election to avoid making accidental markings on ballots. Note that you can’t bring in any campaign materials at all.
On the day of the election, you may visit the polling precinct anytime between 6 am and 7 pm.
Once there, you should:
- Have your temperature checked outside the voting center. If your body temperature is 37.5°C or above, you will be required to go through a second temperature check. If, on the second reading, your temperature remains 37.5°C or above, or you have COVID-19 symptoms, you will be asked to vote in the Isolation Polling Place (IPP).
- Go to the Voters’ Assistance Desk (VAD) and get information on your precinct, sequence numbers, and assigned room or clustered precinct.
- Once done, head on to your assigned room.
- Upon reaching the clustered precinct, introduce yourself to the Electoral Board by stating your name, precinct, and sequence numbers.
- You should get your ballot, ballot secrecy folder, and marking pen, which you will use to fill out the ballot and cast your votes at the voting area.
- Fill out the ballot by fully shading the oval appearing before the name of the candidate you wish to vote for.
- Make sure to vote for the exact number of candidates required. Do not overvote.
- Feed the ballot into the Vote Counting Machine (VCM).
- Return the ballot secrecy folder and the marking pen to the Board of Election Inspector (BEI).
- Wait for your voter’s receipt, and once received and checked, deposit it into the receptacle.
- Have your right forefinger nail stained with indelible ink.
Things to Remember
There are some reminders from the previous elections which are still applicable for the 2022 NLE despite the changes due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Take note of them to avoid problems with your votes.
- Do not vote for more than the maximum number of candidates allowed for a specific position, as it would invalidate your vote.
- Voters must use only the official marker issued by the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs).
- Avoid folding, crumpling, or tearing the ballots.
- Avoid taking pictures of the filled-out ballots.
- Do not keep or take pictures of your voters’ receipts.
- Do not leave the polling precinct with your voter’s receipt.
- One (1) Isolation Polling Place (IPP) will be prepared in every voting center for all voters exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or having a body temperature of 37.5°C or higher, so they may cast their votes.
Video Tutorial to Help You Cast Your Vote
Here’s a guide about automated Philippine Elections 2022. Please vote wisely!
Frequently Asked Questions
Please check out some common questions and answers about voting in the Philippines:
1. How do I check my voter registration status in the Philippines?
When checking on the voter registration status, the easiest way would be to go online and check using COMELEC’s online precinct finder. Unfortunately, at this time, this option is still unavailable, so we’re sharing three different ways to do it.
By sending an email to COMELEC’s Information Technology Department (ITD).
– Open your email app using your smartphone or any browser you prefer.
– Create a new email.
– Type COMELEC’s email address in the “Send To” field: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– In the body of the email, make sure to include:
- Complete name (middle name included)
- Date of birth,
- Contact Number
- Place of Registration
- Date of registration (year)
Once the email is sent, you should get a response in 3 to 7 days.
Visit a COMELEC field office.
Considering the threat of the pandemic, this option may not be the most ideal one there is. Still, there are some perks to visiting a COMELEC office physically. For instance, speaking to a representative should get your answers better, faster, and with clarity.
If you prefer to visit the nearest COMELEC field office, you may check this directory of the COMELEC offices in your area here.
Call the COMELEC hotlines
Besides the online precinct finder, calling the COMELEC hotlines is perhaps one of the fastest ways to reach the COMELEC offices.
Here are some of COMELEC’s Hotline numbers:
(02) 8 527 1896
(02) 8 527 4431
(02) 8 527 7769
(02) 8 527 9365.
2. What are the reasons that may result in the deactivation of your voter registration?
Voter’s registration may be deactivated due to the following reasons:
- In a final court ruling, the voter is sentenced to be imprisoned for at least one year.
- The voter is convicted of rebellion, coup d’ etat, inciting to sedition, or revolution with finality.
- The voter is declared “insane or incompetent” by a competent authority.
- The voter failed to vote in two successive preceding regular elections.
- The voter lost their Filipino citizenship.
- The voter is excluded by a court order.
- The voter could not validate their registration, which means their biometrics weren’t captured.
When your voter registration is deactivated due to these reasons, note that you do not need to register as a new voter. You only need to apply for the reactivation of your records.
3. How to reactivate voter registration?
To reactivate your voter registration, you may follow the steps listed below:
- Answer the CEF-1 application form.
The CEF-1 is an application form to reactivate voter registration. It can be downloaded from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) website or secured physically from the election officer of your city or municipality election office.
– Shade the oval beside the “APPLICATION FOR REACTIVATION OF REGISTRATION RECORD.”
Indicate the reason why your voter registration was deactivated.
- Suppose the reason for deactivation is not because you failed to vote in the past two regular elections or were unable to validate your registration. In that case, you will need to submit a court order or certification that proves the ground for deactivation is no longer valid.
- If you are a person with a disability (PWD) or a senior citizen, fill out Annex B or the “supplementary data form.”
- You would also need to fill out and submit a health declaration form.
- The application form for voter reactivation can also be accomplished through the iRehistro website, but this does not automatically register you as a voter.
- Do not sign the application forms at home. You need to sign it in front of the election officer in your local COMELEC office.
- Submit the duly accomplished application form and the requirements to the local Comelec office or the Office of the Election Officer (OEO).
4. How to confirm if your voter registration has been deactivated?
If you want to verify your voter registration status, there are two different ways to do so:
- Call the Comelec’s Information Technology Department (ITD) at 8527-9365 or 8526-7769.
- Directly inquire with the Office of the Election Officer (OEO) in your district, city, or municipality.
5. Can I still get a voter’s ID?
No. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) had temporarily held the generation and distribution of voter ID cards following the House of Representatives’ approval of a bill seeking to establish a national identification system, which proposes only one ID for all government transactions.
6. Where can I get a voter’s registration certificate?
All Registered voters from any locality in the Philippines may secure a voter’s certification at the COMELEC’s National Central File Division (NCFD) satellite office. The NCFD office is behind Chowking, in the FEMII Building, Extension Cabildo Street cor. A. Soriano Avenue, Intramuros, Manila.
7. How to apply for a voter’s certification?
To apply for a voter’s certification, all applicants must present one valid ID and a photocopy of the same ID and pay the P75.00 fee.
Applicants who cannot apply for the certification personally may send an authorized representative. The representative must bring an authorization letter and present a valid ID and a photocopy of the same ID.
Note that for senior citizens, persons with disability (PWDs), members of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs), and solo parents, the voter’s certification is free of charge.
The months ahead will be a crucial period, both for the voters who will be deciding on who to vote for and candidates who will need to reach out to as many of their constituents as possible.
Regardless of who you decide to elect, the most crucial part is for you to participate in the electoral process and exercise your privilege to decide on the next leaders come May 9.
It’s not going to be easy, as this will also be the Philippines’ first time grappling with a nationwide electoral exercise against a health crisis. Despite it all, we encourage everyone to go together and see what it is like.
For more information related to specific concerns related to voting in the upcoming National and Local Elections, you may also reach out to the Commission on Elections via the following email addresses:
Voter Registration Record: email@example.com
Election Results: firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Inquiry: email@example.com
Job Vacancies and Applications: firstname.lastname@example.org
COMELEC Website: email@example.com
General COMELEC Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Data Protection Officer (DPO): email@example.com
Did you learn everything you need to know to vote in the upcoming Philippine elections? Let us know. Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
If you are a seasoned voter, how about sharing your first-time voting experience?