News PHL Vote 2016 PWD Vote Stories

Live entertainment woos QC voters on registration day

Hundreds of Quezon City voters showed up to register and update their records for the 2016 elections.
Hundreds of Quezon City voters showed up to register and update their records for the 2016 elections.

Photos and video by DANIEL ABUNALES

IT was not a typical scene during voters’ registration.

Hundreds of prospective voters from Quezon City, including persons with disabilities (PWDs), lined up early morning of Independence Day at a covered court in Barangay Bagumbahay.

But while waiting for their turn, they were treated to a performance by renowned singer and songwriter Noel Cabangon.

Darryl Shy, a finalist on the reality TV show The Voice Philippines, also entertained those who came to the event.

In the same program was Jerry Tombo of the nonprofit Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, who sang “Dakilang Lahi.”

Ala una pa lang gising na ako (I’d been awake since one o’clock in the morning preparing for this),” he told the audience.

Organized by The Asia Foundation (TAF), the Fully Abled Nation (FAN) in partnership with television station ABS-CBN conducted a satellite voters’ registration to accommodate applications for new registration, validation, transfer or reactivation from residents of all Quezon City Districts, except 4 and 6.

It was the first time such an event was held, marking the launch of Halalan 2016, an elections initiative of ABS-CBN and various partners from the government and the private sector.

Its aim was to encourage particularly marginalized groups like PWDs to register and vote.

Jerryll Reyes of The Asia Foundation (TAF) said that simultaneous voter registrations were also held in Davao for indigenous peoples, and in Tacloban for survivors of typhoon Haiyan.

FAN is an initiative advocating for disability-inclusive elections, and is being implemented by TAF.

Salvador Pisyeña Jr., 51 and with visual disability, said he heard about the event on the radio and decided to apply for transfer of registration.

Mabilis naman (It was quick),” he said after submitting his forms and having his biometrics taken.

The Asia Foundation for the first time invites performers like Jerry Tombo to entertain voters during the registration on Independence Day.
The Asia Foundation for the first time invites performers like Jerry Tombo to entertain voters during the Comelec registration on Independence Day.

Representatives from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) were present, and, with the aid of sign language interpreters, took and answered questions from the crowd.

Comelec Law Department Dir. Esmeralda Ladra reminded everyone to consult with their local Comelec personnel if they need to register as new voters or just apply for reactivation.

Baka kayo ay deactivated lang (Your registration might have been deactivated),” she said. Failure to vote in two consecutive regular elections is a common reason for deactivation.

Comelec figures as of April 2015 show that a quarter of a million PWDs have registered to vote.

Under Comelec rules, voters who fail to submit themselves for biometrics or have their registration record updated will be deactivated. Registration runs until Oct. 31, 2015.