A Guide to the Philippines 2022 Election: When, Where, and How to Vote?

Guide to the Philippine Elections

The upcoming 2022 Elections in the Philippines is a heated topic both online and offline, for first-time voters, know the importance of your vote and how to vote through this article.

Why is Your Vote Important?

Suffrage or the right to vote must be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines who are at least eighteen years old and have resided in the Philippines for at least a year, as revised by Article V of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. The power of all citizens to keep the government system running is represented by voting. It is a right that every citizen should have. People we elect are tasked with developing and implementing policies that will benefit us. As a result, it is only right to choose intelligently those who uphold the right beliefs. However, voting may be more than just a means of electing a future leader; it can also be a means of exercising rights that our forefathers struggled for. This country, more than ever, requires knowledgeable ballots, whether they are first-time voters or not. Voting is not just a right, it is also power. That is why voting is important in the Philippines.

Because of the COVID19 pandemic, the Philippines has dug itself a deep hole. We are in the midst of several crises, including those affecting health, the economy, the environment, and food production. The pandemic exposed the flaws in our public health system as well as a lack of social protection for the poor. Lockdowns wreaked havoc on our economy, forcing business closures and job losses. Why voting is important in the Philippines is because the next elected administration will take over a set of circumstances where the pandemic remains a challenge, the economy is out of order, and there is a great deal that needs fixing in the government’s pandemic response.

In addition, the Russian invasion of Ukraine caused damage to global food prices and supplies which we were not spared in any way. This issue exposed our food security problems. Furthermore, ​​Typhoon Odette, international name: Rai, destroyed numerous towns and cities in December, reminding us that climate change is a continual menace. It’s not a question of whether, but when the next destructive typhoon will strike. Moreover, any other concerns, such as the great power conflict between the United States and China, will be influenced by the next president’s position. Security, trade, and foreign relations will all be affected by how he or she controls the country’s alliances. Lastly, the new president will have to put an end to the terrible killings and human rights breaches that have gone unpunished over the last six years. These are just a few of the many reasons why voting is important in the Philippines. By anticipating these difficulties, establishing clear policy directives, and implementing effective solutions, our next elected leaders can protect us and our livelihood. Otherwise, our country would be in extreme danger. 

In the upcoming National and Local Elections, Filipinos will elect a new set of national and local leaders, including the country’s 17th president. This year, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) recorded approximately sixty-five point seven (65.7) million registered voters, aside from the one point eight (1.8) million overseas voters, of the one hundred and ten (110) million population. Thirty-two point seven (32.7) million of whom are youth and five (5) million are first-time voters. The presidency, vice presidency, twelve (12) senate seats, three hundred (300) lower house seats, and roughly eighteen thousand (18,000) local positions, ranging from city mayors and provincial governors to local council seats across a country of seven thousand (7,000) islands, are all up for grabs. The President and Vice President are directly elected on separate ballots by a simple majority popular vote for a single six (6)-year term. Members of the Senate (Senado) are directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote to serve six (6)-year terms. Two hundred forty-three (243) members of the House of Representatives (Kapulungan Ng Mga Kinatawan) are elected in single-seat constituencies by a simple majority vote. Sixty-one (61) members who represent minority groups are directly elected by party-list proportional representation vote. Members of the House of Representatives serve three (3)-year terms.

To prepare for the upcoming election, it is significant that you, as a voter, do your research on the candidates. Find out who the candidates are by doing some research. Study their policies and previous track records to help you make an informed decision on election day. This will allow you to get a sense of their perspectives on the issues that are important to you. Next, seek out the advice of others. Inquire of at least three people, both within and beyond your circles, about who they support and why. This gives you a unique perspective on the candidates and how their platforms affect others. Lastly, tuning into debates and interviews is one of the finest ways to learn about the candidates you are voting for. You can witness candidates under stress and listen to their positions on hot-button issues by using such features.

When, Where, and How to Vote in the Philippines?

Aside from getting to know all aspiring candidates and why voting is important in the Philippines, Filipino voters should also be aware of the electoral process such as knowing details of where, when, and how to vote in the Philippines. Here is a practical yet extensive guide to important information that could help the Filipino voters make better sense of the 2022 elections:

A. For regular voters (where, when, and how to vote in the Philippines):

  • Voting day is on May 9, 2022, from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM. When you register to vote, you are assigned to a specific precinct. You may access Comelec’s Precinct Finder once the tool is activated closer to election day to check your assignment. Another option is that you may personally search for your assigned post in your local precinct’s list which will also be available before election day.
  • Before the big day, make sure you have everything you’ll need. Make a list of your top candidates ahead of time. You should have decided who you want to vote for the day before so that you don’t make any mistakes on your ballot. Bring along your new essentials, such as a face mask, alcohol, and your immunization card.

Here is a step by step guide from Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to voting during the 2022 National and Local Elections:

  • Get your temperature checked. Before entering the voting room, an official will take your temperature and check you for any COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • Proceed to the Voter’s Assistance Desk (VAD). Here, you can get your precinct, queue, and room number. 
  • Go to your assigned room. Present yourself to the Electoral Board in your designated voting room. State your name, precinct number, and sequence number. 
  • Take a ballot. An official will hand you a ballot secrecy folder and a marking pen. 
  • Fill in the ballot. Fully shade the candidate ovals so that the machine can read your vote. Remember not to over-vote.
  • Insert your ballot in the Vote Counting Machine (VCM). Stand by and wait for the machine to process your vote. Do not leave before this is completed.
  • Check your voter’s receipt. Were your votes processed correctly? If yes, drop the receipt in the provided receptacle. Otherwise, consult the board of elections inspectors and register your complaint. 
  • Present your forefinger nail for staining. The poll clerk will stain your nail with indelible ink as a mark that you’ve voted. That’s it— you have officially exercised your right to vote as a Filipino! 

B. For local absentee voters (where, when, and how to vote in the Philippines):

Local Absentee Voting (LAV) refers to a system of voting whereby government officials and employees, including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) as well as members of the media, media practitioners including their technical and support staff (media voters) who are duly registered voters, are allowed to vote for national positions; i.e., President, Vice-President, Senators and Party-List Representatives, in places where they are not registered voters but where they are temporarily assigned to perform election duties on election day, or in case of media voters, they will not be able to vote due to the performance of their functions in covering and reporting on the elections. The Local Absentee Voting shall adopt the manual system of elections where the voting, counting, and canvassing are done manually.

  • Commission on Elections (COMELEC), pursuant to the powers vested in it by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Executive Order No. 157, Republic Act No. 7166, Republic Act No. 10380, and other pertinent election laws, resolved, as it hereby resolves, to promulgate the following guidelines on local absentee voting:

Guidelines on local absentee voting:

  • Local absentee voters shall vote on any day from April 27, 28, and 29, 2022 from 8:00 o’clock in the morning until 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon.
  • In case of voting of government officials and employees, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), the heads of offices/ supervisors/ commanders or officers next-in-rank shall designate, not later than April 12, 2022, the place of voting, where the voters shall converge to vote, with written notice upon the Municipal/City /District Election Officer who or whose representative will supervise the conduct of voting thereat. Copy of said written notice shall be furnished to the Committee on Local Absentee Voting (CLAV). The heads of offices/ supervisors/ commanders or officers next-in-rank shall ensure that the place of voting so designated shall be final.
  • In the case of media voters, voting shall be at the COMELEC Office where they filed their applications to avail of the local absentee voting under the supervision of the City Election Officer (CEO), Provincial Election Supervisor (PES), or Regional Election Director (RED) as the case may be.
  • For this purpose, in addition to the health protocols provided under Section 31 hereof, the heads of offices/supervisors/commanders or officers next-in-rank, the City Election Officer (CEO), Provincial Election Supervisor (PES), or Regional Election Director (RED), as the case may be, shall ensure that the venue for voting shall be spacious and well-ventilated. A strict crowd-management and queueing system should be implemented. Single direction flow managements, signages, barriers, and other queue management tools should likewise be utilized. COVID19 marshalls shall be designated to assist in ensuring the observance and implementation of the foregoing.

Things to do during National and Local Elections day:

  • If and when possible, arrive in your precinct early. Expect hundreds of other voters in your neighborhood, so vote before rush hour to prevent long lines.
  • Do not photograph your completed ballot and/or voter’s receipt. While voting for the first time is exciting and memorable, you are not permitted to take a photograph of your completed vote and receipt. Producing a carbon duplicate of it is the same as making a carbon copy of it. This is against the law.
  • As soon as you’ve finished voting, leave the polling place. Before you become too thrilled and start taking pictures with your tattooed finger, remember to leave the voting facility to make room for others who have yet to vote.

Our freedom to vote raises our social consciousness while also providing us with the ability to collaborate in political and social activities. We can track the growth of our country through these activities, allowing the general public to make informed decisions on who to vote for in the public’s best interests. While we are given the power to vote to change the world, alongside comes the great responsibility that we need to observe in selecting competent candidates for every elective position. It is even more empowering to have a say in our country’s future. After the bustle of campaigning, finally getting to cast your ballot is a relief and a source of hope that a ballot can affect the country’s future. Hence, this upcoming May 9, make sure to have your index finger inked as a sign that you have used your power to shape our country’s future.

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