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Register to make a difference

By BṺM TENORIO JR., The Philippine STAR Published Feb 04, 2021 3:00 pm

No one holds a monopoly on making the Philippines a better nation. Everybody has a stake in making sure the country will prosper. It starts from us — the voters.

If we want to help the many nameless people begging on the streets so they can put food on the table after losing their jobs, we can probably help them by ensuring a better country by registering before Sept. 30, 2021 and voting in the general election on May 9, 2022. 

Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Goyo Larrazabal has started a voter’s education advocacy where he drives around the country — in provinces and remote areas — to encourage people to register. 

“To register and vote is (to tell) the world that ‘I have a stake in our democracy, I have a say in where the country is going in the future,’” said Larrazabal, adding that voting is empowering to one’s self. 

In a three-minute video produced by Doris Jimenez (who is also pushing this voter’s education drive), Larrazabal said that during the 2019 election, voter turnout was 70 percent. Most voters were 40 years old and above. But there was a low turnout among young voters, ages 18 to 29. “We need to make people understand that their vote matters.” The video is being shared now on social media. 

“To register and vote is (to tell) the world that ‘I have a stake in our democracy, I have a say in where the country is going in the future,’” said Larrazabal, adding that voting is empowering to one’s self. 

Jimenez said, “This advocacy was born out of a desire to be part of the solution. I was frustrated over how many of the people I know didn’t vote. I reached out to Atty. Goyo Larrazabal so we could do a voter’s education campaign. He easily said “yes.”

“If you register and vote, your chances of making a difference increase substantially,” added Larrazabal.

The Comelec has a target of six million new registrants for 2021. As of January, only about 1.05 million have registered. 

Larrazabal said to register online or offline as a voter, visit irehistro.comelec.gov.ph

“Be more aggressive and make your voice heard by registering and voting. That’s very important,” he said.