Following the call of the Mindanao Consortium of Ateneo (MCA) Colleges to allow their Mindanao schools to be satellite voter registration sites, Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) opened its Jacinto campus for voter registration today, catering to AdDU students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Previously, MCA presented a petition to turn its campuses into registration sites through a media briefing entitled “Ateneos Speak Up: Media Briefing on the Call to Open More Satellite Registration Sites Including Schools.” This initiative was due to the number of unregistered voters in the country. (READ: Mindanao Ateneo schools appeal to be satellite voter reg units).
According to Mark Paul Samante, chairperson of the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC), this plan was made possible because the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) heeded their call.
“This is part of our call from the Mindanao Consortium of the Ateneos to allow schools na maging satellite registration sites for students. So, they responded naman to that call, that’s why we have this working partnership with them for today,” Samante said.
SAMAHAN president Karlo Torreon told Atenews that the SAMAHAN have been lobbying for this event since June, but there was a lack of human resources from the COMELEC then.
“We’re thankful that this time they have accepted because of the urgency of the situation, probably because nag convene ang MCA to call for it and medyo napressure pud ang COMELEC,” Torreon added.
Primarily, the University announced that the satellite registration would only be available to District 1 residents. But in a last-minute announcement, they later decided to include all districts, slightly affecting registrant turnout on that day.
“Ang lisod lang gyud karon kay District 2 and 3, medyo kulang ta admittedly in terms of registrants. That’s because, maybe last minute na sila nag-confirm pero I think with this number, naga rapidly increase naman,” Torreon said.
Registrants on that day expressed their satisfaction with their voter registration experience, appreciating the hassle-free and smooth registration process.
“Super dali kaysa sa Magsaysay. Kasi before, nagtry ako sa Magsaysay, naubusan na ng priority number kasi kailangan daw mag 12 talaga. So dito, nakadecide ako na dito nalang magparegister, and wala pa sya nag one hour, natapos na ako, so madali lang masyado,” first year AB Psychology student Erica Saldon told Atenews.
Marla Jadulang, also a first-year AB Psychology student, was likewise satisfied with her experience since she did not feel any pressure and did not struggle throughout the process.
“Overall, I’ll rate this experience a 10/10 for its convenience, easy-to-approach facilitators, and chill environment/venue.”
The deadline for voter registration is on October 30, 2021. Hence, Samante encouraged all Ateneans to register to vote because it is crucial for them to take part in shaping the future of the country.
“Malaki ang population ng youth compared to the middle-aged class, and the youth vote will be very important this coming May 2022, kasi we are charting the next course of history in the Philippines,” Samante mentioned.
Torreon also emphasized the importance of registering to vote as part of a person’s patriotism, as it helps the Ateneo community become more politically aware.
“I think this is just the first step of them to show their somewhat love of country, kanang magregister. I think what’s most important is what you do after you register, kung paunsa ka makadiscern kinsa imong botohon, and unsa pud na agenda ang important sa imuha as a voter,” Torreon told Atenews.
A total of 807 individuals have registered to vote during the satellite registration in AdDU, according to Torreon’s Facebook post. 527 registrants are from District 1, 217 from District 2, and 63 are from District 3.