The May 9 elections are just around the corner with politicians fighting to the end for votes and supporters pouring all they have to catapult their candidate to victory. The victors will largely be responsible for easing the Philippines into new-normal life after two years of lockdowns and financial stress.
Here’s everything you need to physically, emotionally, and mentally prepare yourself for the elections that will decide the country’s fate for the next six years.
How to deal with election stress
For many, the upcoming elections trigger a wave of different emotions. Mixed with hope for a better future and joy shared among like-minded people is anger at fake news and frustration at friends supporting corrupt candidates.
There’s also the added stress over whether your pick will emerge victorious. Here are tips on how to rise above the feeling of stress.
Though you’re encouraged to vote based on your own beliefs, endorsements from religious groups can also sway the vote for many Filipinos. There are pros and cons to following the endorsement, especially if your values are not aligned with the endorsed candidate.
If you’re a diehard supporter of a particular candidate, there’s still time to convince friends and family to vote for your choice, as impossible as it may seem. Here are steps on how to do it.
A coin toss breaks ties in local contests, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez earlier told reportr.
It hasn’t happened in national elections, but a slim margin opens the winning candidate to protests.
"If you need a reason to vote, remember this: bad officials are elected into office by good people who don’t vote," Jimenez said.
How prepare to vote
Each individual can vote for one president, one vice president, and 12 senators. For the list of senators, check out our guide.
For the local level, you can only pick one House member, governor, vice governor, mayor, and vice mayor. You may vote for as many provincial board members and municipal/city councilors as indicated in the ballot.
Make sure to only vote for the number of candidates required per position. Overvoting will cause your votes to be invalid.
How to find your precinct
You can check your precinct location online. Only those with an active status can vote on May 9. If you fail to vote for two consecutive elections, you will be given an inactive status.
Can’t find your name? Comelec said it’s probably because of system overload, so check again after a few minutes or hours. If your name is still not there, best to confirm with your Comelec office while you still have time.
Overseas Filipino Workers can vote on a ‘vote anywhere’ scheme. For more details, check out our story.
If you’re working away from home, AirAsia is offering a discount for Filipinos flying back to their provinces to vote.
How to stay COVID safe
Vaccinations are not required during the elections. Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals can still cast their votes on May 9. Those without their boosters can still vote.
If the voter's temperature check indicate fever, the person will be taken to an isolated room where they can cast their vote.
COVID-positive voters can still vote, provided that they wear masks and face shields. They will vote in designated isolation rooms, along with voters exhibiting symptoms on the day itself.
How to vote on Election Day
To keep safe against COVID-19, avoid lingering in the precinct and visit only your assigned room. Voting centers will be open from 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities can skip the lines and go to priority lanes. Present IDs as needed and submit your ballot. Check out the instructional video here.
Regular voters must go to the Voters’ Assistance Desk to know your precinct and sequence numbers as well as the assigned room or clustered precinct.
Go to your assigned room and introduce yourself to the Electoral Board by stating your name, precinct number, and sequence number. Get your ballot, ballot secrecy folder, and marking pen.
Once you have everything, go to the voting area and vote.
To vote, shade the circle before the name of the candidate you wish to vote for. Remember not to over-vote so that yours can be counted.
Place your ballot in the Vote Counting Machine. Check your receipt and drop it in the proper bin. You can’t bring this home or take any photos of the receipt.
Have your right pinky finger marked with indelible ink.
After the elections...
The Comelec said it might be able to proclaim winning senators and party-lists within seven days after May 9 elections, with mayors and provincial candidates in just three days.
Let’s say your preferred candidate won—you have to wait until May 10 to drink as alcohol is banned from May 8 to 9.
Violators of the prohibited acts will be punished with a jail time of one to six years without probation. They will also be disqualified from holding public office and from voting in the elections.