Last week I patiently line in a long queue for Comelec’s registration for this 2016 Presidential Election. But based on my observation I think I have to expect that my high hopes for a better election next year will just bring me frustration and disappointment.
I went to the main office of Comelec to register myself but in my disappointment they managed to have it in Ayala Center Cebu. Well, it looks like it was a good one as they thought the comfort of the people. In Ayala Center, it’s wider, air-conditioned and accessible however I wish that they did not make the registration site at one place only like they are having a carnival show but rather simultaneous multi-points of registration sites. In that way, they are serving the registrants from different points of the city and reduce the crowd and long queue.
I’ve heard that the Comelec officials are pointing fingers and blaming the late/last-minute registrants, that if only they register earlier then it would take 15 minutes (the longest wait) to accomplish the said activity. They are absolutely right on that area, but they should also consider this last-minute registrants scenario ahead and made a solution we’ve been doing election before so many times and that trend is very clear that will happen again, plus not all has the opportunity to do it during weekdays for some reasons. The Comelec should have it done 6-day a week registration availability starting at the first date of registration, that means they will be open during Saturdays and cater the working and busy mob, after all they will be on a hiatus for years after the election and still the government is paying them even they are not doing anything anymore.
Another thing that dismays me is the online application form – it sounds pretty high-tech, right? However, they are not actually honoring it and you will still have to manually fill out the form right there. Yes, you read it right! In other words, it’s useless to fill it online and print it having a thought that your way will be smoother. Do you want to know their reason? They are having this color-coding thing on their papers which I think is so ancient! I don’t know if they forgotten the goal of this whole thing, that the legal Filipino should have a digital record including their biometric specimen because we are moving now to a digital election process and ditching that manual procedure that as we all know is very prone to sham. It was such a disappointment indeed that they still cannot move on! Perhaps because the officials are old and less trendy, they are the cause why we are very sluggish towards the improvement that we are looking forward.
I am still seeing log books and manual logging! Such a face-palm, I really can’t understand why they are still doing it! maybe for reconciliation but I doubt, they are just wasting resources, time, and effort because if the bad guys really wanted to jeopardize the election they will always have ways. We cannot tell they maybe now registering dummy records directly in the database!
I’m glad that I successfully registered and will now ready to vote and exercise my right next year! I am still hopeful for the improvements next coming elections and the Comelec will improve as they have ample time to think for a better solutions and plans to handle the next elections. By the way, bring your own pen because the Comelec cannot afford to buy a service pens for their clients!