Election Day in the Philippines
Election Day is an important and integral part of any democratic government. By using the mechanism of elections, the politicians are held accountable for what their actions lead to. They are compelled to enforce new policies that reflect and respond to public opinion. Ideally, the elections cause a significant political recruitment source, ways to make the government, and transfer government power. It also guarantees representation and a huge determinant of the government’s policy.
All Philippine citizens may exercise their right to vote as long they are at least 18 years old. Every six years, the Philippines elects a new president. Electoral politics is an instructive way to determine the winner, and it is part of the country’s democratic development.
What is Election Day in the Philippines All About?
In the Philippines’ 1987 constitution, it is stated that unless the law provides it, the Congress members’ election happens every 2nd Monday of May. Based on the Republic Act No. 7166, the national, city, provincial, and municipal elections are also every 2nd Monday of May. It has been this way since 1992, and it is every three years after that, the president and vice president are elected in intervals of 6.
The Philippine Election Commission (COMELEC) is the constitutional office of the executive, judicial, and legislative supervision. It will perform the administrative and quasi-judicial functions that are relative to ensure that the elections are orderly, free, honest, credible, and peaceful.
The COMELEC’s leader is a Chairperson and six commissioners. The chairperson directly supervises all administrative departments to ensure the proper discharge of functions and powers that are constitutionally appointed. According to the virtue of election supervision and administration, the COMELEC establishes the smallest precinct as a territorial unit.
They establish hundreds of thousands of precincts every election, so the automation of elections is done fairly, systematically, and peacefully.
Things to Do During Election Day in the Philippines
Stated below are steps to follow if you’re voting in the Philippines:
- Go to the polling precinct you are assigned to from 6 am to 5 pm on the election day.
The COMELEC advises that voters should come early and should not wait until the last minute to vote. You must look for your name under the voters’ list that is posted near the precinct. The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) assistance desk for voters can help you find your precinct, room number, and sequence.
- Fall inline.
At the holding area, you should fall in line and then give your valid ID, name, and precinct number to the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs)
- You must now get your ballot, marker, secrecy folder, and then proceed to the voting area. Your ballot should not have any marks.
- Remember to vote wisely.
You are allowed to undervote and abstain, but you cannot overvote. If you do this, your vote is not going to be part of the count. You must shade the oval that corresponds to the candidate you chose. Using the secrecy folder, cover your ballot; even those watching the polls and BEI cannot see your ballot.
- Insert your ballot into the vote-counting machine.
You will see a green and red button: the green cast your vote, and the red return your ballot. If you fail to press either of them in 1 second, the machine will automatically cast your vote and print a receipt.
- Return your marker and secrecy folder.
- Allow them to mark your finger with indelible ink.
- Take your receipt and verify it.
- There is a receptacle beside the VCM that is provided by the COMELEC where you should drop your receipt.
- Leave the precinct.
How Election Day in the Philippines is Celebrated
During Election Day, there is a liquor ban all over the Philippines. This prevents both voters and nonvoters from potentially inciting violence when under the influence of alcohol during this special public holiday.
Further, people are not allowed to take videos and photos in the polling place or your ballot. You must also refrain from taking a video or photo of the VCM and your receipt. This is an offence.
The celebrations happen after the winners are declared, but those who have voted and were involved in the election process do their own celebrations. Before all this, the canvassing should be done first.
The canvassing includes precinct results being aggregated at the municipal or city board of vote canvassers. The provincial or city results are aggregated at the national or regional board of canvassers.
The local canvasser board is led by the COMELEC field official, and it does not continue until 6 pm on election day. Their main duties are to consolidate and receive the results that are electronically transmitted. They will print reports and proclaim winners before transmitting results. The candidates’ proclamation, city, municipal, regional, or provincial, happens at the canvassers’ assigned board.
Venues and Special Events for Celebrating Election Day in the Philippines
The venues and special events for the Philippines’ election day celebration happen in different parts of the country. The citizens wait at home for the results after they have voted. You cannot stay in the precinct area while waiting for the results, but you can stay outside.
For non-voters, they can still enjoy going to establishments, like malls, restaurants, and other places because most of them are still open.
The election day in the Philippines is anticipated because they want to finally vote for the right leaders of the country.