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Thousands of voters’ IDs unclaimed: Acol

By URIEL C. QUILINGUING
Contributing Editor .

More than 2,000 voter’s identification cards the Commission on Elections issued to registered voters in Cagayan de Oro, about 10 years ago, are still unclaimed, according to city election officer Ramil P. Acol Monday.

“Some of them may have been inactive by now,” Acol told the Mindanao Gold Star Daily.

He said most of the voter’s IDs in their possession were those who were registered for the 2010 national and local elections.

“The Comelec stopped the printing of voter’s ID in 2012 in anticipation of the issuance of unified national IDs,” the city election officer said.

 The Philippine Statistics Authority, the agency tasked to implement the national identification system to more than 100 million Filipinos starting this year until 2022, has piloted the issuance of unified IDs to Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program beneficiaries.

Acol said the Comelec has been issuing voter’s certifications, instead of the voter’s ID, since the 2013 midterm elections and in the succeeding barangay, Sangguniang Kabataan, and national elections.

He said the voter’s ID is no longer needed for one to cast his vote after the introduction of the fingerprint verification system, through the voter registration verification machines.

But he maintained the Comelec-issued voter’s ID is useful to many, not only during electoral exercises.

Patricio Ollada, a resident of Barangay Bulua and a senior citizen said: “It is useful in bank transactions and to avail of senior citizens’ 20-percent discount on goods, medicines, and food.”

Veteran journalist Butch Enerio, also a senior citizen, said the Comelec voter’s ID is one the legitimate cards that all offices, be it government or private, recognize for validity.

Other valid identification cards include, among others, Land Transporation Office’s driver’s license, Bureau of Internal Revenue’s tax identification number card, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, Social Security System, and Government Service Insurance System membership cards.  

Financial institutions, including money remittance firms, honor voter’s ID and other government agency IDs for monetary transactions, not the “press” IDs media entities issue.

Meantime, Acol said his office has yet to receive guidelines on the resumption of voter registration which may be held at the city election office.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez announced last Friday the resumption of voter’s registration Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, this year.

Asked if the local Comelec will accept and process voter registration in malls and in barangays, Acol said they have to request for Comelec main office’s permission.

There is a possibility a new form will be used in the voter’s registration, he said.

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