Namfrel to hold voters' registration

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 17:53:00 02/26/2009

MANILA, Philippines – The National Citizen's Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) will hold a registration for first time voters at San Beda College Friday, an official said.

Namfrel and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) chairperson Henrietta de Villa said in a phone interview that the special registration aimed to encourage about 200 students and out-of-school youth from the fourth and sixth districts of Manila, along with other students from nearby schools, to enlist so that they could be able to participate in the 2010 polls.

“I hope this special registration of voters on Friday will signal proactive engagement of our nation's “bagond bida” [new heroes] – the Filipino youth voters,” she said.

De Villa added that there would be a voters' education campaign as part of the registration to promote awareness among the youth on the importance of participating in the elections.

The activity is timely for the National Service Training Program week, which encourages volunteerism among the youth, she said.

Albert Oasan, San Beda College NSTP facilitator and head of Namfrel Manila Chapter, said in a statement the activity aimed to encourage students to be involved in community initiatives that would promote volunteerism and vigilance in safeguarding the electoral process.

For the project, Comelec will setup a satellite registration center at San Beda College in Mendiola, Manila. A data capturing machine will be available to capture biometrics information (photograph, signature and finger print) of first time voters.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said there were about 9 million youth voters aged 18-35 years old in the 48,190,702 registered voters in October 2007.

If 2 million of the 5 million new eligible voters will register by yearend, there will be at least 11 million youth voters for the 2010 elections, Jimenez said.

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