New year’s resolution – register as a voter

Published January 11, 2021, 12:56 AM

by Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal

Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal


By this time, you’ve probably already done your new year’s resolution.  Eat less, exercise more, lose weight, etc.  By now, unfortunately many will already have broken their new year’s resolution.  Promising to start again next year.  It seems it’s a cycle, and we just promise to do the same thing, year after year.  Some with success, some, well, they’ll try again the year after.

However, one new year’s resolution which we can easily do is register as a voter.  Every day, I’m asked about how to register as a voter by people who want to have a louder voice in our democracy.  Promising to register as a voter is easy, doable, and can be done while you’re doing other activities, like watching the latest shows and movies on Netflix.  It’s always a pleasure explaining the process to people who want to register as voters.

Now, what if you’re already a voter?  Then your new year’s resolution can be to encourage your family and friends to register as a voter.  Yes, not everyone will share the same political views, but by encouraging them to register and vote, you help them as well in making their voice heard.

So, to recap, the following are answers to FAQs on how to register as a voter:

Q:  Where do I go to apply as a voter?

A:  To apply as a voter, you need to go to the City/Municipal Comelec office where you reside.  So, if you work in Muntinlupa City, but reside in Makati City, you go to the Comelec office in Makati City to register as a voter.

Q:  Where is the City/Municipal Comelec office usually located?

A:  The OEO (Office of the Election Officer) Comelec offices are usually located near the municipal/city hall (or you can check in the Comelec website to be sure).

Q:  Is there an online appointment/application form which I can fill up?

A:  Yes, you need to go to:, then fill up the application/appointment form, print out the form, and bring it to the Comelec office on your scheduled appointment.

Q:  Can I still register as a voter even without going through the online application/appointment?

A:  Yes, you can.  There will be a line though, especially in urban centers like Metro Manila, but in most areas, there’s no long lines, and Comelec staff are very accommodating for walk-in applicants

Q:  What days of the week can you go to the Comelec office to apply as a voter?

A:  Under the updated schedule, applicants can go to the Comelec office from Monday to Thursday, from 8:00 a.m,. till 3:00 p.m.

Q:  Do I need to fill up a form to apply as a voter?

A:  Yes, you have to fill up a registration form and supplemental form, which I discussed above.  If not, there should be forms in the Comelec office you’ll go to.  Just make sure you bring a pen with you.

Q:  In printing out the application form, is there a specific paper size to use when I print out the forms?

A:  Yes. Make sure you use folio F4 (or “Philippine Legal”) size paper, which is 8.5” x 13”.

Q:  How many copies should I print?

A:  Print at least 3 copies which you’ll submit to Comelec.  You can print extra copies, in case you need to practice at home.

Q:  Should I fill up the forms before going to the Comelec office?

A:  Yes, fill it up at home, before going to the Comelec office.

Q:  Is there something in the form which I should accomplish at the Comelec office?

A:  YES!  Affix your SIGNATURE and THUMBPRINT at the Comelec office, ONLY in front of the Comelec official.

Q:  Are there health protocols I should follow when going to the Comelec office?

A:  Yes, the following are the health protocols you need to comply with when going to the Comelec office:

  1. ALL applicants MUST wear a facemask and face shield. You will be denied entry to the Comelec office if you do not comply with this health protocol.
  2. Please bring your own ballpen when you go to register as a voter.
  3. Before entering the Comelec office, make sure you step on the DISINFECTION MAT which is located in front of the office.
  4. There is an alcohol and/or sanitizer dispenser in the Comelec office. Make sure you apply on your hands when you enter the office.
  5. Make sure you practice physical distancing when in the Comelec office.
  6. When you finish and leave the Comelec office, make sure you apply alcohol and/or alcogel on your hands.

Q:  Can I apply as a voter even if I’m not yet 18 years old?

A:  Yes, you can.  As long as you’ll be 18 years old on or before May 9, 2022.  So, a 16-year-old person, who is turning 17 years old this April, can already register as a voter.

Q:  How long is a residency requirement for voters?

A:  Applicants must be a resident of the Philippines for at least one year and in the city/municipality where he/she proposes to vote, and at least six months immediately preceding the May 9, 2022, national and local elections.  Take note, the point of reckoning is not the day you apply as a voter, but election day.

Stay Safe.  Stay Healthy.  Register as a voter and vote on May 9, 2022.