Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Green Vote, Now!


Agreement signed for peaceful elections
Updated November 28, 2008 12:00 AM

CEBU - The Commission on Elections has signed a memorandum of understanding with lawyers group, deans of colleges and universities offering law courses, student’s organizations, non-governmental organizations and civic groups for the holding of honest and peaceful elections in 2010.

Comelec Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento led the signing of the memorandum yesterday with Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu City Chapter represented by lawyer Briccio, Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu province chapter headed by lawyer Noel Adlawan, University of San Jose-Recoletos Faculty of Law represented by lawyer Jonathan Capanas, University of Cebu College of Law represented by dean Baldomero Estenzo, University of Cebu Law Students Society headed by Mark Anthony Gaviola, Lex Circle headed by Kirk Repollo, Save TaƱon Strait Citizens Movement headed by lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center, Inc. headed by Vince Cinches.

Sarmiento told reporters that the signing was very historical because it was first of its kind in the Philippines.

According to Sarmiento, it was a welcomed development for the Comelec because of the active participation of different sectors in Cebu in educating the public on the importance of the next political exercises. Ramos, on the other hand, said there is a need for them to work hand in hand for the good of the country, especially during elections.

The Comelec issued Resolution No. 8514 for the resumption of the registration of voters from December 2, 2008 to December 15, 2009.

IBP and other groups have offered their services to Comelec to help effect a more efficient, widely participated and systematic registration for voters during the registration period.

They are also willing to harness their individual resources to be the Comelec partners in the voter’s education program. — Jose P. Sollano/LPM (THE FREEMAN)


THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) and various groups yesterday signed a memorandum of agreement to wage a campaign on voter education.

Several civic and academic institutions and non-government organizations and the Comelec entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to “help effect a more efficient, widely participated and systematic” registration of voters, which officially starts on Dec. 2, 2008 to Dec. 15, 2009.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said the move is a “milestone” for the poll body since it is a show of concern among private and civic sectors who realize the need for an efficient registration of voters.

“We welcome this development and I am looking forward for other groups to also enter into a MOA with Comelec,” Sarmiento told reporters after signing the agreement at the Cebu Grand Hotel.

“This (signing of MOA) is a milestone since this will encourage the youth to register and vote and make a difference in the 2010 elections,” said Sarmiento.

Parties who signed the MOA include the provincial and city chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Cebu, several law schools and non-government organizations.

“The Comelec is doing its best in initiating electoral reforms with the help of the public so that we’ll have credible elections,” said Sarmiento.

The Comelec recently announced that the continuing registration of voters nationwide for the 2010 presidential election, except in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), shall resume on Dec. 2, 2008 until Dec. 15, 2009.

In a resolution promulgated in Nov. 12, 2008, the Comelec en banc ruled to adopt the use of biometrics technology for the purpose of “establishing a clean, complete, permanent and updated list of voters.”

But Sarmiento said his office is yet to receive a recommendation from the advisory council on what technology will be used in the 2010 poll.

He said the next election will certainly be automated as a compliance with the law.
“We are waiting for Congress to approve our proposed budget of P21 billion,” said Sarmiento.

Under the agreement, Comelec will provide its partner institutions with available information, materials, and paraphernalia to help educate registrants and voters.

During the registration of voters, the resolution said that applicants should personally file their applications at the Office of the Election Officer in their respective cities and municipalities during office hours on the above dates.

The resolution also stated that the persons who may register to vote for the upcoming 2010 elections must have the following requirements: (1) At least eighteen (18)
years of age; (2) A resident of the Philippines for at least a year and in the place wherein he proposes to vote for at least six (6) months on or before the day of the election; and (3) Not otherwise disqualified by law.

The resolution also provided that persons who have not yet turned 18 or have complied with the residency requirement during the period for registration, but will possess the same on or before the day of election (May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections), may register as a voter. (GMD)

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