Ref: James Arthur B. Jimenez
Director IV, Education and Information Department
Commission on Elections
Tel. No. (+632) 525-9294
Date: April 10, 2014
COMELEC Spox to walk the entire length of Luzon to promote voter registration, validation
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Spokesman James Jimenez shall embark on a long and arduous walk from Laoag in Ilocos Norte to Matnog in Sorsogon starting May 6, 2014 to drumbeat the poll body’s call for all qualified citizens to register as voters and submit to biometric registration.
The system of continuing voter registration shall resume on May 6, 2014, preparatory to the National and Local Elections of 2016.
“Apart from rising to the challenge of processing close to three million new voters, the Commission must also ensure that more than 9 million registered voters are informed that they need to submit themselves for biometric capture lest they be disenfranchised in 2016,” stated Jimenez, in his Memorandum submitted to the COMELEC En Banc.
“However, beyond merely delivering information, the Commission must also take steps to mobilize these vulnerable voters, to actually get them to the registration centers where their biometric information can be captured. And the Commission only has 17 months to do it,” he furthered.
On February 15, 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino III signed Republic Act 10367 or “An Act Providing For Mandatory Biometrics Voter Registration” which requires all voters to submit their biometric information (digital photograph, fingerprints and digital signature) to the COMELEC or face disenfranchisement in 2016. The COMELEC has earlier stated that more than 9 million voters nationwide lack or have no biometric record.
Thus, Jimenez said, it is essential for the poll body to embark on a big event that shall capture the imagination of the population, to inspire citizens to take action and see to their civic responsibilities within the 17 month registration period and to encourage other organizations and institutions to band together with the COMELEC in the campaign to ensure clean, flying voter-free elections in 2016.
With these imperatives in mind, Jimenez has conceptualized “WALKAH-WALKAH: Step Juan Tungo sa Mulat na Botante”, which is a project to traverse the length of the island of Luzon, on foot.
Along the way, Jimenez, accompanied with a committed group of individuals shall traverse through towns, municipalities, cities and Regions, numerous public gatherings will be conducted where information and education relevant to voter validation and registration will be delivered to citizens.
“WALKAH-WALKAH: Step Juan Tungo sa Mulat na Botante” will kick-off in Laoag City on May 6, 2014, coinciding with the start of voter registration.
For more information on the COMELEC’s Walkah-Walkah Project, Jimenez urged the public to visit http://walkahwalkah.org. ###none