Scheduling ‘Biometrics Data Day’

June 27,2015 - 08:43 AM

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We hope the Cebu City Council resolution urging employers to reserve a “Biometrics Data Day” for all their workers will be heeded if only to declog the long lines of last-minute applicants at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office.

Anyone who’s ever lined up on the day of the deadline for registration knows what it’s like to be inconvenienced, to have their patience tested to the limit as they endure the heat of the sun for hours on end just to undergo a process that only takes an hour or so to finish.

But if elected local and national officials were to make that call, they should also lead by example and declare a “Biometrics Data Day” for their local government and national government employees.

That way, these employees won’t make excuses to proceed to the Comelec office and have their basic information taken for next year’s election when they had all the time in the world to do so before the October 31 deadline.

The same requirement applies for private sector employees and employers who would curse to the heavens and question God why Comelec is so slow in processing voters when, in the first place, they were advised  to register months ahead of the deadline.

Not only is the Comelec call practical, it also helps instill a sense of accountability and responsibility to voters who may think that government will always be at their beck and call to answer their every whim and need.

As we have known in elections past, that is certainly far from the case. Despite their limited resources and the failure of government to decide with finality whether we will have automated or manual elections, Comelec is doing what it can to perform their mandate to ensure a clean, authentic and verifiable voters’ list that can stand up to scrutiny and be as foolproof as possible against the country’s cadre of election operators, their paid hacks and their well-funded patrons.

As recounted by provincial Comelec supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano, election personnel oftentimes take risks in traveling to places just to invite people to undergo processing for their biometrics data.

From barangays to prisons to army camps, they are making every effort to ensure that everyone is registered and able to vote on Election Day. And yet they get the onus of the blame from the public and from elected officials whenever they see long lines of last-minute applicants crashing on their office doors just to get registered.

It’s time to take responsibility and exercise our right to suffrage by taking that first step of registering for the elections.

It’s time for all sectors, especially media to sound the call to reciprocate the Comelec’s efforts and sacrifice by registering for the elections.

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TAGS: Biometrics Data Day, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City Council, Comelec, Comelec office, Commission on Elections, Lionel Marco Castillano, provincial Comelec supervisor

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