Data capturing machines needed for new voters

By: Melissa Q. Cabahug June 15,2015 - 12:15 PM

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Cebu has requested for at least two data capturing machines in anticipation of the large number of youth who have yet to register.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, provincial election supervisor, said he made the request when Commissioner Luie Tito Guia recently visited Cebu for consultation.

If approved, one machine will be deployed in Cebu City while another will be sent to Mandaue City, Castillano said.

Ideally, Comelec offices should have one data capturing machine per 300 registrants per day, said Assistant Provincial Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde.

Castillano said many voters are unable to register when they go to Comelec offices when the poll officers are out conducting off-site registration.

This usually happens during weekends, he said.

Despite the lack of machines, Castillano called on the youth to register for the 2016 elections.

He said Comelec has until July 27 to send notices to those who must have their biometrics taken.

“It was pointed out that Cebu City and Mandaue City, dako pa gyod kaayo og kuwang, tag 20,000 pa gyod kapin ang imong kwentahon sa number of days nga mabilin, kulang gyod kaayo ang panahon

hutdon gyod na  (If you check the expected volume of registrants against the number of days left to register and have their biometrics taken, it is not enough),”  said Castillano.

Castillano said parents should encourage the youth to register because the next president will help shape their future.

“Confidence in the economy is tied to whoever is elected president,” Castillano said in Cebuano.

He said he understands that the youth must focus on their studies but he said they should spare some time to register.

Registration ends on October 31.

YOUTH

“I believe a big percentage of the population is still the youth. Ang amo lang ani is ma-guided sila (We just want them to be guided). I hope the youth would also realize how crucial their vote is,” said Castillano.

Earlier, the Comelec said more than 100,000 individuals may not be able to vote because Comelec does not possess records of their biometrics.

The Comelec has recorded 2.5 million registrants in the entire Cebu province as of April this year.

Undersecretary Gregorio ‘Gio’ Tingson, chairperson of the National Youth Commission (NYC), had said the youth must tap their strength by voting as one.

“Kung titingnan mo (If you look at) [the] demographics, this age 18 to 34 years old, it comprises 47 percent of the total voting population,” he said.

“Imagine what young people can do to continue reforms and strengthen democratic institutions if they vote collectively,” he added.  Meanwhile, Castillano said he has nothing against politicians who seem to be campaigning this early.

“Katungod pod na sa mga tawo nga makabalo sa mga impormasyon (It is the people’s right to know) what you stand for, your advocacy. That is also freedom of information. Just don’t use government resources,” he said.

“Sa imong pagpangampanya gamita ang imong kwarta (Use your own money in your campaign),” he said.

He clarified that the Civil Service Commission,  not the Comelec, imposes sanctions against politicians who campaign prematurely.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City, Comelec, Comelec offices, Commission on Elections, Lionel Marco Castillano, mandaue, Mandaue City

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