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Sunday, June 27, 2010

COMELEC Execs to be Axed for Botched Ballot Secrecy Folder Deal

MANILA, Philippines – A number of Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials are facing administrative sanctions for their alleged involvement in the botched P689.7-million ballot secrecy folder deal.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said that upon the recommendation of the legal department, the commission is ready to impose sanctions on those found guilty of involvement in the irregularity.

“The report will be submitted to us then we will decide based on the recommendation if we should penalize administratively those found guilty,” Sarmiento said.

He added that the Comelec is expecting the legal department headed by lawyer Ferdinand Rafanan to submit the report today.

The commissioner also hinted that the poll body is ready to reprimand the three-man investigation team headed by Rafanan if it fails anew to submit its findings today.

“I think we will decide accordingly because people are asking about the status of this investigation. We will ask the committee to fast-track the investigation because so many extensions have been given to them,” Sarmiento said.

Rafanan’s team was supposed to submit the report last week, but Sarmiento said the panel once again requested for an extension until today to complete their report on the controversy.

Earlier, the commission tasked the panel to probe the cancelled procurement of more than 1.8 million ballot secrecy folders worth P380 each from OTC Paper Supply.

The poll body intended to use the special folders in the last May polls, but eventually decided to use ordinary folders.

Poll body officials previously reported that some of their people are being investigated and the investigation panel is looking into their relationship with OTC. - By Mayen Jaymalin (Philstar News Service)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Resolution No. 9005 - Guideline for the Continuing Voter Registration (4)

Sec. 4. ERB Hearing for the Purpose of Cleansing the Lists of Voters. – In order to implement Resolutions No. 8791, 8817 and 8882 and other policies of the Commission in cleansing the lists of voters, the ERB shall convene on July 12, 2010 for the purpose of [1] abatement of double/multiple registrants, [2] deactivation of registration records of voters who failed to vote twice in the two preceding successive elections, [3] cancellation of registration records by reason of death, and [4] reactivation of registration records of those voters who were erroneously deactivated in the previous registration period.

For this reason, there shall be no deactivation of voters registration records on the ground of failure to vote twice in the two (2) preceding successive elections during the August 20, 2010 ERB hearing.  Subject to the exception provided in the preceding statement, abatement, deactivation based on other grounds and cancellation of registration records by reason of death occurring after July 12, 2010, may still be given due course in the August 20, 2010 ERB hearing and other hearings that will be set thereafter.

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Resolution No. 9005 - Guidelines to Continuing Voter Registration (3)

SEC. 3. Date, time and place of filing of applications; hearing and approval/disapproval. – 
Applications for registration, transfer of registration records, reactivation and changes/corrections of entries in the registration records/inclusion of registration records/ reinstatement of name in the list of voters shall be personally filed at the Office of the Election Officer (OEO) of the district/city/municipality where the applicant resides from Mondays to Sundays, from 8:00 o’clock in the morning to 7:00 o’clock in the evening.  The applications shall be heard by the Election Registration Board (ERB) at the OEO, in accordance with the following schedule:

Period to file applications
Last day to post Notice of Hearing
Last day to file opposition to the applications for registration/transfer of registration records
Hearing/ Approval/ Disapproval of Applications
August 4, 2010 to August 13, 2010*
August 16, 2010
August 18, 2010
August 20, 2010
[*as amended by COMELEC Res. No. 9007, promulgated July 24, 2010]

The Election Officer (EO) shall adopt a system of processing applications to speed up the registration process, minimize queuing and, avoid inconvenience.  Preferential treatment or express lane shall be provided to the elderly, persons with disability, and pregnant women.

In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the Provincial Election Supervisors shall, upon the report of the Election Officers, taking into account the existence of Ridos (family feuds) between and among families residing in different barangays or the lack of a municipal hall or where the house of the Mayor serves as the Municipal Hall, recommend the transfer of venue or the establishment of sub-offices for purposes of registration, preferably in areas accessible to all prospective voters and/or within the same office/compound of other government offices, which shall be within the same municipality.

Notices of the location of the sub-office and date of registration shall be posted in five (5) conspicuous places of the municipality and the concerned barangays and furnished to the Election and Barangay Affairs Department (EBAD).

No transfer of venue or establishment of sub-offices shall be made without the approval of the Commission En Banc.

Further, there shall be no satellite registration in the non-ARMM areas.

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Resolution No. 9005 - Guidelines for the Continuing Voter Registration (10)

Sec. 10. Procedure for filing of Applications for Reactivation. – Any registered voter whose registration has been deactivated based on any of the grounds provided under Sec. 27 of R. A. No. 8189 and those deactivated in the last continuing registration of voters may request for the reactivation of his registration record by personally accomplishing in three (3) copies, both sides of the prescribed application form hereto attached as Annex “E” (CEF-1C-Application for Reactivation).

The EO shall verify in his local database the record of the applicant, using the DCS Utilities program.  The EO shall use the old application form number and direct the applicant to the DCM Operator.

a) If the record has complete biometrics, i.e. it has photograph, fingerprints and signature, using the DCS, the DCM Operator shall:

1.   Select File -> Others
2.   Type the last name, first name and maternal name in the space provided and then click SEARCH button or leave the fields blank and click on SEARCH button.
3.   Right-click the record of the applicant in the list
4.   Click REACTIVATION
5.   Save the record
After ERB approval, the applicant’s record shall be reactivated in the city/ municipality local database.

b) If the record has incomplete biometrics, i.e. any of the biometrics is not present, using the DCS, the DCM operator shall:

1.   Select File -> Others
2.   Type the last name, first name and maternal name in the space provided and then click SEARCH button or leave the fields blank and click on SEARCH button.
3.   Right-click the record of the applicant in the list
4.   Click REACTIVATION WITH BIOMETRICS CAPTURE
5.   Capture the biometrics information of the applicant
6.   Save the record

After ERB approval, the old record of the applicant shall contain biometrics data and shall be reactivated.
After completion thereof, the EO shall cut the bottom portion of one copy of the application form and give it to the applicant to serve as Acknowledgment Receipt and proof of filing his application.

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Guidelines for the Continuing Voter Registration (9)

Sec. 9. Procedure for filing of Applications for transfer of registration records within the same city/municipality. – Any voter who has changed his address in the same city or municipality may apply for transfer of his/her registration record to the precinct book of voters of his/her new precinct by accomplishing CEF-1B (Application for Transfer).

The EO shall verify in his local database the record of the applicant, using the DCS utilities program.  The EO shall use the old application form number of the applicant and direct the applicant to the DCM Operator.

a) If the record has complete biometrics, i.e. it has photograph, fingerprints and signature, using the DCS, the DCM operator shall:
1.   Select File -> Others
2.   Type the last name, first name and maternal name in the space provided and then click SEARCH button or leave the fields blank and click on SEARCH button.
3.   Right-click the record of the applicant in the list
4.   Click TRANSFER WITH BIOMETRICS
5.   Edit the address and precinct number fields
6.   Save the record
After ERB approval, the place of residence and precinct number of the applicant’s record shall be changed to his current address and precinct assignment.

b) If the record has incomplete biometrics, i.e. any of the biometrics is not present, using the DCS, the DCM operator shall:
1.   Select File - > Others
2.   Type the last name, first name and maternal name in the space provided and then click SEARCH button or leave the fields blank and click on SEARCH button.
3.   Right-click the record of the applicant in the list
4.   Click TRANSFER WITHOUT BIOMETRICS
5.   Edit the address and precinct number fields
6.   Capture the biometrics information of the applicant
7.   Save the record
After ERB approval, the place of residence and precinct number of the applicant’s record shall be changed to his current address and precinct assignment and the biometrics will be included in his record.

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Resolution No. 9005 - Procedure for Filing of Application for Transfer of VRR from Another District/City/Municipality

SEC. 8. Procedure for filing of application for transfer of registration records from another district/city/municipality. – Any registered voter who has transferred residence to another district/city/municipality, at least six (6) months before the October 25, 2010 elections, may apply for transfer of his/her registration record by personally appearing before the EO of his new residence.
The EO shall verify from the National List of Registered Voters (NLRV) if the applicant’s name is included in said list.  If the applicant’s name is not included in the NLRV, the EO shall verify if the applicant’s name is included in the National List of Deactivated Voters (NLDV).

a.  If applicant’s name is included in the National List of Registered Voters or in the National List of Deactivated Voters -
The EO shall give the applicant three (3) copies of the prescribed application form hereto attached as Annex “C” (CEF-1B – Application for Transfer/Application for Transfer with Reactivation).  The applicant shall thereafter accomplish said application form separately in three (3) copies subject to Section 5 hereof.

It is important that the EO shall check the box corresponding to the appropriate type of application.  In the assignment of precinct number and Application Form Number, the EO shall follow the procedure provided in Sec. 5 (c) hereof.

Using the DCS, the DCM Operator shall:
  1. Select File -> Registration
  2. Click on Transfer from other municipality/city radio button
  3. Encode demographics information and capture the biometrics data of the applicant
  4. Save the record
He shall then affix his/her initial below the space provided for the EO’s signature in Part 2 of the application form.
The application for transfer of registration records to another district/municipality shall be subject to the requirements of notice and hearing and the action of the ERB.

Once the application is approved, the EO shall notify of said approval the EO of origin by registered mail.  Only a notice of approval, duly signed by the EO as Chairman of the ERB, reflecting the name, birth date, place of birth, current address, old precinct assignment/barangay/city of the applicant-transferee shall be sent, without need of the copy of the approved application for transfer.  Upon receipt of said notice, the EO of origin shall remove the voter’s registration record from the corresponding precinct book of voters and delete the name of the voter from the district/city/municipal list of voters.

b.  If the applicant’s name is not included in the National List of Registered Voters nor in the National List of Deactivated Voters –
The EO shall first require the applicant to show proof of his registration.  In this aspect, a showing of a Comelec ID or a Certification from the EO of former place of registration will suffice as evidence of previous registration.  Upon such showing of proof, the EO shall issue an application for transfer.  A facsimile copy of the proof shall be attached to the application.

In the absence of proof that the applicant is a registered voter, the EO shall advise the applicant to file an application for registration.  The EO shall thereafter issue the prescribed application form (CEF-1A – Application for Registration) to the applicant, who shall accomplish said form in accordance with Section 6 hereof.  In addition, the EO shall issue to the applicant a Certification (sample form attached as Annex “D”) stating that the applicant intended to apply for transfer but he/she was instead advised to apply for original registration, for want of proof that he/she is a registered voter of another district/city/municipality.

The DCM operator shall perform the procedure for capturing demographics and biometrics as stated in Section 5(h) hereof.

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Resolution No. 9005 - Accomplishment of Voter Application Forms by Illiterate or Person with Disability

SEC. 7. Accomplishment of application forms by illiterate or person with disability. -

As used in this Section, person with disability shall refer to disabled person as defined by the Republic Act No. 8189.   Any illiterate or person with disability shall be assisted by the Election Officer in the preparation of his application form, or by any member of an accredited Citizen’s arm, or a relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, or if he has none present, by any person of confidence who belongs to the same household.

In no case shall an assistor assist more than three (3) times except the EO/EA.  All assistors must be of voting age.

The EO shall place the illiterate or person with disability under oath, after which the assistor shall ask the illiterate or person with disability relevant questions, and record the answers given in order to accomplish properly the application form.
Once the application form is accomplished, it shall be given to the EO who shall read the accomplished form aloud to the person assisted and ask him if the information given are true and correct.

The applicant shall, in the presence of the EO, affix his thumb mark or some other customary mark on the duly accomplished form.

The Assistor shall then accomplish in three (3) copies the Certification/Attestation, designated hereto as Annex “B”, which shall be attached to the accomplished application form.

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SEC. 5. Procedure for filing of applications for registration of Barangay Elections voters
Sec. 11. Procedure for filing of applications for change of name by reason of marriage, or court order or order by the Civil Registrar or Consul General
Sec. 12. Procedure for filing of applications for correction of entry/entries in the registration records
Sec. 13. Procedure for filing of applications for reinstatement of registered voter whose name has been omitted in the list of voters

Sec. 14. Procedure for filing of applications for inclusion of registration record not included in the precinct book of voters
Sec. 15. Cancellation of registration records
Sec. 16. Deactivation of registration records. – Grounds; Procedure
Sec. 17. Challenge of right to register
Sec. 18. Authority of EO to administer oath and issue summons
Sec. 19. Notice of hearing of applications
Sec. 20. Approval or disapproval of application
Sec. 21. Publication of action on applications
Sec. 22. Petition for Inclusion of Voters in the List
Sec. 23. Petition for Exclusion of Voters from the List
Sec. 24. Disposition of applications for registration, transfer of registration records, reactivation, inclusion/reinstatement of record, change of name, correction of entry/entries and the compact discs (CDs)
Sec. 25. Role of the Off-site Verification Teams
Sec. 26. Role of the Regional and Assistant Regional Director and Provincial Election Supervisor
Sec. 27. Applicability of other resolutions of the Commission
Sec. 28. Effectivity, publication, and dissemination

Guidelines for the Continuing Voter Registration (6)

SEC. 6. Application sans biometrics. – The application form of an applicant who fails to submit himself for the live capture of his biometrics data for cause/s attributable to his own fault shall be deemed incomplete and not filed.  As such, the application shall be disapproved for failure to complete the requirements.

In the event that the allocated Data Capture Machine (DCM) becomes defective or the biometrics data of the applicant cannot be captured within the registration period due to the great volume of applicants, absence of electricity/alternative power source and analogous cases, the Election Officer shall receive the application and inform the applicant when to return for data capture.  The Election Officers and their Assistants are authorized to accomplish the data capture not later than August 19, 2010.  If the biometrics data capture cannot be accomplished within the said period without fault of the applicant, the application shall be submitted to ERB for Hearing.

The CVL technicians shall certify as to the fact of DCM and its peripherals malfunction to be confirmed by the Provincial Election Supervisors, who shall report the matter to the Information Technology Department.

Further, in cases where any of the DCM peripherals become defective, such that the registration procedures cannot be completed, the Provincial Election Supervisors shall be allowed to make the necessary arrangements with the concerned Election Officers under his jurisdiction to devise a scheduling system for the sharing of the working DCM peripherals with nearby cities or municipalities until such time that the defective peripherals shall be replaced with working units. This sharing mechanism shall be limited to two cities and/or municipalities.

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Resolution No. 9005 - Guideline for the Continuing Voter Registration (5)

SEC. 5. Procedure for filing of applications for registration of Barangay Elections voters. – (a) The applicant shall personally appear before the EO, state his name and exact address, specifying the house number, name of the street, area, district, purok or sitio, and barangay where he resides, or a brief description of his residence, and present any of the following identification documents that bears the applicant’s photograph and signature:

1.     Current employee’s identification (ID) card, with the signature of the employer or authorized representative;
2.     Postal ID;
3.     Student’s ID or library card, signed by the school authority;
4.     Senior Citizen’s ID;
5.     Driver’s license;
6.     NBI/PNP clearance;
7.     Passport;
8.     SSS/GSIS ID;
9.     Licenses issued by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC); or
10.  Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID.


In the absence of any of the aforementioned identification documents, the applicant may be identified under oath by any registered voter of the precinct, or by any of his relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity who are registered voters of the same city/municipality.   No registered voter shall be allowed to identify applicants more than three (3) times.

If the applicant fails to establish his identity by any of the aforementioned methods/documents, he shall not be issued an application form.

(b) Upon establishing the identity of the applicant, the EO shall initially screen the name of the prospective applicant for registration from the National List of Registered Voters (NLRV) and National List of Deactivated Voters (NLDV).  If found in any of the said lists, he shall not issue to him/her an application for registration but shall advise the applicant to apply for:
  1. Transfer of registration record, if the name is found in the NLRV (another district/city/municipality); and
  2. Reactivation/transfer with reactivation of registration record, if name is found in the NLDV.
(c) The EO shall, using the barangay precinct map, verify whether the address given by the applicant is located within the territorial boundary of any of the precincts of the barangays within the jurisdiction of the district/city/municipality.

If the applicant is not a resident, the EO shall instruct the applicant to proceed to the OEO of the district/city/municipality where the applicant resides.
If the applicant resides within the territorial jurisdiction of the city/municipality, the EO shall:
  1. Inform the applicant of the qualifications and disqualifications for registration;
  2. Determine the precinct where the applicant belongs by referring to the barangay precinct map.  The applicant shall be assigned temporarily to the mother precinct comprising his residence.  The precinct assignment shall be finalized after the approval of the application.  Daughter precinct(s) shall be created to accommodate approved applicants in excess of the 200-voter per precinct limit.
In case of boundary dispute, the EO shall maintain the status quo.
  1. Indicate the precinct assignment of the applicant at the upper right-hand portion of the application form.  No dummy/default precinct assignment shall be allowed; and
d) Upon receipt of the application forms, the applicant shall personally accomplish the same separately in his/her own handwriting and submit the accomplished application forms to the EO.  TITLES SUCH AS ATTORNEY, REVEREND, ENGINEER, DATU, SULTAN, HADJI, BAI, DOCTOR AND OTHER TITLES OF SIMILAR NATURE SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED.

(e) For illegitimate children whose certificates of live birth do not include a middle name, the character “__” (underscore) may be used for the middle name during the computer encoding of the data of the applicant.  However, if a middle or maternal name is indicated in the certificate of live birth of an illegitimate person, the same may be used by such voter in the filing of his application for registration and/or cases of correction of entries.

(f) In case of applicants who do not know their birth date, the numbers 01-01-1901 (default birthday) shall be used; provided, that the EO can reasonably ascertain that the applicant is of voting age through his/her physical features, and other relevant indicators such as year in college and number of children.

(g) The EO shall ensure that the application has been filled up correctly, completely and legibly; write down the Application Form Number; return the forms to the applicant; and direct the applicant to the Data Capture Machine (DCM) Operator.

The Application Form Number shall consist of four parts and thirteen digits, as follows:
First Part
-
Two (2) digit province code
Second Part
-
Two (2) digit city/municipal code
Third Part
-
Two (2) digit Data-Capture Machine (DCM) Number which is 30 (default)
Fourth Part
-
Seven (7) digit control code, which shall start with the number following the last application form number assigned on December 29, 2009.

(h) Using the DCS, the DCM Operator shall:
  1. Select File -> Registration
  2. Click on NEW radio button
  3. Encode demographics information and capture the biometrics data of the applicant
  4. Save the record
He shall then direct the applicant to the EO.
(i) Upon receipt of the application, the EO shall:
  1. administer the oath (before the Koran in ARMM areas);
  2. affix his signature in the appropriate space of the form;
  3. retain the three (3) copies; and
  4. cut the bottom portion of one copy of the application form and give it to the applicant to serve as Acknowledgment Receipt and proof of filing of his application.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Republic Act No. 8189 - The Voter's Registration Act of 1996

Republic Act No. 8189

PROVIDING FOR A GENERAL REGISTRATION OF VOTERS, ADOPTING A SYSTEM OF CONTINUING REGISTRATION, PRESCRIBING THE PROCEDURES THEREOF AND AUTHORIZING THE APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS THEREFOR
Promulgated: 1 June 1996

Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as "The Voter's Registration Act of 1996."

Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. - It is the policy of the State to systematize the present method of registration in order to establish a clean, complete, permanent and updated list of voters.

Sec. 3. Definition of Terms. - As used in this Act:
a. Registration refers to the act of accomplishing and filing of a sworn application for registration by a qualified voter before the election officer of the city or municipality wherein he resides and including the same in the book of registered voters upon approval by the Election Registration Board; 
b. Registration Record refers to an application for registration duly approved by the Election Registration Board; 
c. Book of Voters refers to the compilation of all registration records in a precinct; 
d. List of Voters refers to an enumeration of names of registered voters in a precinct duly certified by the Election Registration Board for use in the election; 
e. Illiterate or Disabled person refers to one who cannot by himself prepare an application for registration because of his physical disability to read and write; 
f. Commission refers to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC); 
g. Election Registration Board refers to the body constituted herein to act on all applications for registration; 
h. Voter's Identification Number (VIN) refers to the number assigned by the Commission on Elections to a registered voter that shall consist of three (3) parts:
1. The current address (city/municipality and province); 
2. the current precinct assignment of the voter; and 
3. the permanent birth and name code unique to every voter; 
i. Political Parties refer to local, regional or national political parties existing and duly registered and accredited by the Commission; 
j. Precinct refers to the basic unit of territory established by the Commission for the purpose of voting; 
k. Precinct Maps refers to a sketch or drawing of a geographical area stated in terms of streets or street blocks or sitios the residents of which would belong to a particular precinct; 
l. Polling place refers to the place where the Board of Election Inspectors conducts its proceeding and where the voters cast their votes; 
m. Voting center refers to the building or place where the polling place is located; 
n. Election Officer refers to the highest official or authorized representative of the Commission in a city or municipality; and 
o. Board of Election Inspectors refers to the body which conducts the election in the polling place of the precinct usually composed of three (3) public school teachers appointed by the Commission.
Sec. 4. Permanent List of Voters. - There shall be a permanent list of voters per precinct in each city of municipality consisting of all registered voters residing within the territorial jurisdiction of every precinct indicate by the precinct maps.

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