Hard lesson learned about voter’s registration in the city.

Yesterday, I woke up as early as 3:30 am. I prepared the things I need, then at around 5:00 am, I left home. The destination: Quezon City Hall. Reason: To register for the upcoming 2013 Elections.

I arrived at City Hall and already, thousands of people have already settled in lining up for the voter‘s registration which will begin at 8:00 am. I also heard from fellow registrants that some people came in lined up as early as 11:00 pm, the previous night. So I settled in for the long wait. Well, I belong in what is at the moment is the largest congressional district in the country. The second district of Quezon City which has a population of 1.5 million people. However in the upcoming elections, the 2nd district will be split into three separate districts. Batasan Hills (where I belong), Commonwealth, Holy Spirit, Payatas and Bagong Silangan will remain in District 2 with the population reduced by 60% to around 600,000+, while the Fairview and Novaliches areas will become District 5, and the Tandang Sora area becomes District 6. Both districts will have over 400,000+ residents each. So there were a lot of people who lined up in our district unlike the other districts in the city because their voting populations are relatively smaller than in District 2, and the fact the lines for these districts are not too long as we had.

I was able to meet people who were there also taking a shot on getting registered for the upcoming elections. A few hours after I lined up, we were able to get close enough and had a view of the district office. I though I‘ll be able to register.

Then the worst happened. The security guard at the asked all of us to “GO HOME”. We would not be able to register today. There is a quota per district of only 600 registrants per day. Judging by the population of the district, it was too small as the voting population is four times greater than the other districts in the city. I never lost hope. I was still hoping to get the opportunity to register. But then, something happened that made me more pissed about registering on that day. 

The whole system was really poor! The people in the COMELEC office were very rude in dealing with the people, not minding the people’s causes. They could have told us to leave earlier if they knew that we were not going to make it through the line and we’ve not met the quota. They could have given us spots or numbers to register on a later date. Instead, they asked the people who did not make it through to simply GO HOME! and try your luck until the last day on the 31st.

Well it could also be a fault on my part, for not registering early when the lines were not long and when I had time in the summer. It’s just for most of the registration period after the summer, I was in school working through the everyday struggles of school life in and out of the university. I did not have plenty of spare time for other commitments outside of school work. It was unfortunate on my part, to register in a very huge district population-wise and not knew about the thousands of people were coming in for their registration.

Disappointed, well I can’t do anything to resolve it anymore. So afterwards, I went back to my high school Alma Mater. Claret School of Quezon City to take a glimpse of the campus. Took time to visit the church next door, and went out around Matalino Street and check on the different spots. A lot has changed there from the last time I was roaming this street.

For now, I won‘t be able to vote next year in the upcoming elections. I’m not going back on the last day tomorrow to push my luck to get registered, because I know a lot of people will come in the most inconvenient times of the day. Though, the upcoming election is not for a new president as only the senators and the local elections from representative to the city councilor will be elected next year. It was a hard and tough lesson learned for me. Despite that, I’d still have my voice to be heard about the upcoming elections. So, in the next election in 2016. I would come in to register as early as possible. I hope by that time, the COMELEC offices for the newly formed districts will be up so that the lines would not be as long as this year.

BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME!
K-Smoove

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