Skip to content

A Test of Patience at the COMELEC Voter’s Registration

““Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” George Jean Nathan

The rooster crowing from afar reminded me that it was time to wake up. What an unholy hour 5:00 AM was, as I grumbled and struggled to get off from bed. I was doing this for my daughter, M as it was her opportunity to register at the barangay center over the weekend since she works during weekdays. The previous saturday, she was unable to register because the barangay cut-off was 500 registrants. The Commissions on Elections (COMELEC) staff advised her to come as early as 7:00 AM to fall in line. I also thought it was time for me to reactivate my voter’s registration. My name was delisted because I was out of the country during the past two elections (before the 2007). M and I were pleased with ourselves for arriving at the barangay hall at 6:00 AM but what did we discover?

Two hundred people were ahead of us. I groaned. I learned that the early birds queued as early as 3:30 AM. Why oh why did it have to be this complicated? If I didn’t love my country enough, I would have left right there and then. My experience in the barangay voter’s registration was truly a test of patience and determination to be a registered voter. Imagine the whole registration process lasted from 6:00 AM till 2:00 PM.


Let’s see COMELEC’s Registration Procedure and how it applied to me and my daughter’s experience.

FIRST STEP A qualified applicant need only to appear personally at the local COMELEC office.

It does not say that you might queue for hours so be ready to bring a small stool (which we did. M went home to get more papers), water and snacks. For the next two hours, I didn’t want to remain idle and bored. I voluntarily guarded the queue from latecomers who might insist on cutting in. Filipinos can be so nice to the point that they are abused. A woman pointed me to a man who jumped the queue beside her. I asked the person if it was true but he just ignored me and left the line. It was at that point that I called the barangay workers to moderate the line. The line soon became orderly when the people were told that they shouldn’t allow anyone to cut into their line,

Being a responsible citizen starts at simple tasks and good manners like ” fall in line and don’t cut in”.


SECOND STEP: The applicant’s identity and residence will be verified. (Bring a valid ID with photograph and signature.)

Reality is they won’t accept any identification if your home address is not stated. The list of identification documents are here and shows that passport is acceptable. M brought her passport but since her home address was not stated there, they didn’t accept it. Good thing this happened before the THIRD STEP. Her only other proof was her NBI Clearance so she went home to get it. The procedure should be more clear and state that your identification MUST contain your home address. I heard (from bloggers) that you can also get a barangay certification if you have no other proof of your home address but I didn’t hear this from the COMELEC verification team.

The registration started at 8:00 PM.


THIRD STEPThe applicant’s status of registration will also be verified. (NOTE: Your registration status may also be verified here.)

I noticed that some people brought utility receipts to show proof of their residence because none of their ID’s showed their residence. I appreciate the fact that COMELEC is strict with the home address data since we want to avoid the flying voters phenomena in past elections. I got verified by 9:00AM.

Fourth Step After a successful verification, the applicant shall be given an application form to fill up (in 3 copies). (download here and print 3 copies in legal sized bond paper) or download the forms after the entry below.

Reality is it took another two hours before we got our application form. There was only 1 computer to verify the identify of the registrant. No wonder it took forever to get the application form. The good news is that senior citizens, the 18 to 19 year olds and pregnant women were given special line so they didn’t have to queue for hours.

You will need your Tax Identification Number (TIN) in the application form. I had to call my husband to dictate it for me. I don’t think this is a big deal since 18 year olds don’t have their TIN yet but still bring your number with you. Our application form was complete by 11:00 AM but the computer for the biometrics suddenly suffered a “hanging” syndrome so they told us to get our lunch and come back at 1:00 PM.

FIFTH STEP:The applicant’s biometrics will then be digitally captured.

At 1:00 PM, I could feel “intensity 8” inside the room. I noticed that our names weren’t called yet. I insisted that my daughter and I be processed because others ahead of me already got through. Oh yes, being assertive helps.

The biometrics guy whispered to me “Balita ko nagwala ka sa labas” ( I heard you went wild outside).

I stared back at him “Excuse me, I asserted my right to be next in line because many others ahead of me got in this room.”

He kept quiet then took my digital photograph, fingerprints and signature using their COMELEC’s Data Capture Machine (DCM).

SIXTH STEP: An Acknowledgment Receipt will be given to the applicant afterwards.

Finally I got my acknowledgment Receipt at 2:00 PM. It felt good to know that I am now a registered voter and so with M, even if it took 8 hours. It might not be the same in other barangays or cities. It’s just our barangay is the largest in our city so don’t get discouraged by my experience. I will have to bring Lauren some other time to the City Hall as she has more flexible working hours. There is still two months more to go but I believe this should be extended. The working population can only register during the weekends unless concerned companies allow their staff to take a whole day off to register.

It is worth it to register or re-enlist. I know it is a long shot to choose the best leader for our country but it is better than sitting down and doing nothing. This mother peers lovingly at her baby as if to say ” This is for you”. I will be patient.


Are you registered?

How was your voter’s registration experience?

Download COMELEC Registration for New Voters

If you are unable to download the COMELEC registration form, I have uploaded it below. To download, click on more , then save document. Print 3 copies in long (legal size) bond paper.

COMELEC Registration Form for New Voters

30 thoughts on “A Test of Patience at the COMELEC Voter’s Registration”

  1. Noemi, I think we have the same polling precinct, but I still have to download one more document from the comlec site. I tried many, many times (the other three were OK) but couldn’t get it to to download. Thanks for the info on utility receipts.

    P.S. anyone care to send me an email for all registration documents?

    1. If one sees that queue, it can really be frustrating. Besides, the ID’s listed in the site are not accurate also. I know of some people who were not allowed to move on to the application phase due to lack of ID papers.

      I also enjoin companies to give their employees a day off to register.

  2. i registered in cavite around three months ago. it took around 45 minutes on a monday rush hour.

    however, now that you mentioned it, i noticed that my identity and residence was not verified. hm.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. It was quite fortunate that when I registered, it only took me no more than 30minutes to complete the process. I registered in the COMELEC office in Manila (near City Hall not in Intramuros)

  4. Ouch. Mine took less than an hour. Half an hour even. And the only ID I brought was my high school alumni ID (and I’ve been out of high school since 2004, haha). Maybe it was because my sister and I did it around March, so there were still less people lining up, and they were less strict about requirements then. I hear now that a lot of people kept on going back because their requirements were not accepted.

    I don’t get their process for the biometrics though. I submitted my form ahead of my sister, and I still waited an extra fifteen minutes after hers was taken. =/ And I did approach them and almost had a fight with whoever was in charge, only because so many people who came after me were being called, and I was not.

    But yeah, companies should give others who want to register a chance. I had to file a leave from work just to be able to register.
    .-= Maris´s last blog ..A New Game Plan =-.

  5. I also experienced that ordeal years ago when me and my brother went to our city hall to register for the 2007 National Elections.

    We started in the morning and finished in after 7 PM. Many people are frustrated with the process that time and many were forced to go back the next day. The personnel of COMELEC are also frustrated and the tempers are running at an all time high.

    Nonetheless, we finished registering so I do not need to register for the 2010 Elections. I am right?
    .-= Ishmael Ahab´s last blog ..Of One Million-Peso Dinner and Hungry Filipinos =-.

  6. Pingback: Spending half a day at the COMELEC Office « The Free Lancer

  7. ay naku registration form pa lng ang kukunin sa q.c hall it took me 3 hrs bastos at naninigaw ang mga worker ng comelec and after 1 month pa kmi babalik for the said registration.sobrang tagal talaga.

  8. i just registered sa pasig city hall yesterday and it took me more than 7 hours pero ok lang kasi amid a sea of diverse people, may 2 handsome guys akong nakasabay…just by looking at them, pinawi nila ang pagod ko! hahaha anyways, wala na bang gagawin after makuha yung acknowledgment receipt? as in hindi na ba tayo iissuehan ng voter’s ID?

  9. i hope in in COMELEC theres a saturday registration for those people n hindi makapg parehistro, it because their studying like me, i hope mgkaroon din ng saturda services, para mkapag paregiser n din poh kmi………tnx

  10. mam thank u for sharing these infos…ive been trying to download the form tru comelec’s website but i cant get through..and i eventually found this blog…it really is a great help..thank u..ill try to register tom and im already 28 years old and i havent registered and voted ever and i wanted to practice this right..thank you..hope the line tom is not that long, as ive seen in one of the comments here, sa manila area near city hall…maraming salamat po.

  11. i’m on my 3rd day at our comelec office and i still haven’t laid eyes on the said registration form. it was only kanina that i knew of the downloadables and i’m here looking for a decent copy of it (as the comelec’s online copy is damaged). will be going back there tomorrow 🙁

    1. I definitely agree, I know the feeling of being always out of time to do things because I’m always juggling my time between work and school…. (*sigh) 🙁
      I feel as if the 24 hours in 1 day is not enough for all my duties & responsibilities. I’m always stressed out and drained. :'(
      I have 1 week off from school since it’s sembreak but I still have work so I can’t really rest & relax like other regular students….
      This whole week I’ve been trying to register but what happens is that I always ran out of time coz of my work schedule, I have to leave the line after waiting for hours because I can’t be late for work.
      (*sigh……. :()
      I tried to go to the Comelec Office at the 3rd floor of Cainta Municipal Hall again to register again today despite of the roaring winds outside but the power went out in our place since past 5:00 this morning. When I went by there before going to work, I saw the same scenario that I’ve been in, a very long line of people waiting to get registered. Alas! I have to go to work again and I have to leave the line. I went by there before going home today (I had to go home earlier today since I’m not feeling really well since yesterday) to see if there are still a lot of people waiting in line, and there still are!
      I wish and pray that they do extend the registration period, even for a week because if they don’t I’d rather be unable to vote this 2010(even if I’m really excited to do so since it will be my first time) than to lose my bread and butter. 🙁

  12. Registration period began in December 2008 and most people waited until the last three months to the last minute to register. They should’ve known it was going to be bloody, so to speak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *