THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) has requested UST’s assistance in joining its information campaign ahead of the two elections set for 2025. 

Comelec Chairperson George Garcia said in a press conference on March 14 that the commission would need help in disseminating information for the two elections in 2025, during which new voting systems and equipment would be used.

“[Ang] hihingin po natin sa UST community talaga, lalo na sa pamunuan, baka puwedeng matulungan po kami sa information campaign natin,” Garcia said. “Kapag bagong makina, kinakailangan maipaliwanag natin nang lubos sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na po sa ating mga mag-aaral.”

Comelec is eyeing to replace over 97,000 vote-counting machines, which have been in use since 2016, with automated counting machines (ACMs) next year. This new equipment will have the capability to display a person’s vote in real-time and transmit results to multiple servers simultaneously.

“Alam natin na napakaraming mag-aaral ng UST na makikinabang ng kaalaman kung paano gagamitin ang mga makina,” Garcia added.

UST Secretary General Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. said the University was open to working with the Comelec in disseminating information ahead of the elections. 

“The University is very much open to any collaborative efforts. And at our level, we will be convening ‘yung aming academic officials in order to help Comelec disseminate ‘yung voter’s information and especially ‘yung mga innovations,” Coronel said.

UST housed the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) transparency server in the 2022 elections. The commission however intends to cease operations of the transparency server in next year’s polls.

Garcia said that instead of relying on a single transparency server next year, results would be transmitted to multiple servers simultaneously.

“Sa ating palagay, baka hindi natin magagamit ang UST ngayon kasi… tulad ng binabanggit ko kanina, ang PPCRV, (Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas), minority party, at majority party ay makakatanggap na ng results. Wala na po tayong transparency server so wala na pong ibabahay na transparency server sa UST,” Garcia said. 

‘Register Anywhere Program’

The Comelec rolled out various services at the P. Noval Court as it brought  its “Register Anywhere Program” (RAP) to UST on March 14. 

Thomasians availed themselves of first-time voter registration, transfer of registration, overseas to local transfer, correction of entries, change of status, and reactivation services.

UST was one of the RAP sites nationwide, which include university campuses, government offices, and some 170 malls.

The onsite registration was open to the University’s administrative and academic officials, academic and support staff, students, UST Hospital employees, parishioners of the Santísimo Rosario Parish, and their relatives. 

Garcia urged Thomasians to register for the upcoming midterm polls and barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE).

“‘Yung kabataan kahit paulit-ulit na sinasabing nasa kamay nila ang ating kinabukasan, dapat nating ma-realize na ang demokrasya natin sa kanila po nakasalalay,” he said.

“Kaya po kabataan ang ineengganyo natin; idealism leads with the youth, it should never die with the youth,” he added.

Approximately 1.3 million Filipinos have registered for the RAP as of March 14, or two months since it was launched on Feb. 12. This was almost half of Comelec’s target of 3 million newly registered voters by 2025. 

Thomasians who wish to register as voters must submit a completed application form, which can be accessed through the Comelec website, and bring a valid identification document.

The following are considered valid identification documents: 

  • 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
  • Passport
  • SSS or GSIS ID 
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID 
  • License issued by the Professional Regulation 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 

Registrants may apply at RAP sites until Aug. 31. Voter registration for the 2025 polls will be open until Sept. 30.

Two elections are slated for 2025: the midterm elections on May 12 and the BSKE in December. Mabel Anne B. Cardinez


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