PSA: Any valid ID–not just national ID–is accepted in voter registration

August 2, 2021 - 3:49 PM
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Philippine Passport
A maroon Philippine passport (Interaksyon/File photo)

Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez reminded the public that any valid identification card can be used for voter registration.

Rumor has it that a national ID is required to register and votes, but Jimenez’s explanation suggests the requirement is not as heavy as some people make it out to be.

The query came from writer Katrina Stuart Santiago who asked: “Is the National ID required in order for us to vote in 2022? Getting news from the ground that people are being told that they will not be allowed to vote, EVEN WHEN THEY’RE REGISTERED, if they do not have a National ID.”

Santiago also tagged the official accounts of Jimenez and poll commissioner Rowena Guanzon.

The national ID or the Philippine Identification System ID (PhilSys ID) was launched in February this year to have a uniform, single valid proof of identity for private and public transactions.

So far, the registration for the national ID is still ongoing.

RELATED: PhilSys registration sites: Rundown of malls where one can register for national ID

Santiago’s tweet reached Jimenez. He then said the rumors are false.

“That is disinformation—a voter suppression tactic,” he said.

“No specific I.D. is required in order to vote; an I.D. might be required if your identity is challenged, but any…repeat any valid I.D. will be acceptable. Please help us spread the word,” he added.

Santiago later thanked him for the swift response.

Applicants can register to the iRehistro website of the Commission on Elections. It was launched to streamline the process and as a preventive measure amid the still raging coronavirus pandemic.

Given that applicants still need to go to COMELEC offices to complete their registration, Jimenez foresees that the coming re-implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila will have an impact on the voter registration numbers.

But the COMELEC has exceeded its target of new registrants.

“The return of NCR to a state of ECQ will undoubtedly have an impact on voter registration numbers. However, it bears remembering that the COMELEC has, in fact, already exceeded expectations—and not just its own—for voter registration during a pandemic,” Jimenez said in a statement.

“More than 4 million newly eligible voters are already included in the voter rolls, and we have already blown past earlier and lower projections of the total number of voters registered for the 2022 National and Local Elections,” he added.

As of press time, no update on the suspension of voter registration has been released yet.

COMELEC offices will observe pandemic restrictions.

“When the appropriate authorities deem it safe to lift these current restrictions, the COMELEC will promptly resume its services to the public. Until then, however, the COMELEC will not shirk its role, however small that might be in assuring the success of the country’s pandemic response,” he said.

Metro Manila and other places in the country will be placed under ECQ on August 6 to 20 in hopes to stop the further spread of COVID-19, particularly more transmissible Delta variant.