Monday, September 14, 2009

Ganito Kami sa Makati

Subtitled: How to become a registered voter and wish you hadn't at all

Wag sana ganito sa buong bansa!

This blog is a yellowApple post. I am not scared and I dare to shed light to everyone. In this blog, I will let everyone know how I managed to overcome a horrible experience courtesy of COMELEC – Makati Branch.

Last Friday, I went to process some papers for my plan to go back to school. It was a freaking rainy day. Since I finished early, I decided to drop by COMELEC to finally exercise my privilege and my right to suffrage. I'm already 27 and been a tax payer for 7 years and haven't even had a say on my government. I thought this was high time for me to finally have my vote cast for next year's election. Plus the fact that I am a real admirer of Binay and he might need my support when he run for national election. This on my mind, I climbed my way up the 2nd floor of Makati Fire Station where COMELEC office is located. To my suprise, I found the lobby free of people lining up for registration. I knocked and enter the office only to find Ms. Eyeglasses on the front table. I asked if I can do my registration that day and she immediately shun me away saying that there is no registration that day and that I should get back on Monday.

As a first timer I politely asked the requirements to get registered. The less polite Ms. Eyeglasses shun me away the second time and directed me to the wall. The wall lists valid ID's which can be used for registration. Since, I am literal enough to understand that the wall does not speak, I bugged Ms. Eyeglasses again and asked: "Heto lang po ba ang requirements? Kailangan bang mag-submit ng ID na may Makati address?." Thankful enough Ms. Eyeglasses has not change mood and snobbishly said: "Isa lang sa mga yan!"

Since she's the boss, my only recourse is to go home and wait for Monday which happened to be today.

I remember waking up as early as 5am today just to get prepared but never did I thought that I'll have an extended nightmare.What expected to have been a good day turned out to be such a horror story that I dare not watch again.

I came with my brother so he can also get registered. We arrived 9AM at the office and was welcomed by Mr. Thin guy who immediately instructed us to photocopy our IDs. When we got back, he scanned through our photocopied IDs and said that the IDs weren't valid as there is no address listed on it.Whoooaaaah! I immediately recalled and retold what Ms. Eyeglasses told me but I was not listened to. He directed us to get a Police Clearance. Fine again. Boss number 2.

When we got to Makati Central Police Station, there were already a lot of people lined up to get their clearances. Dismay as I am, I have no choice but to line up and get it done for the day. I was overwhelmingly surprised to find the cost of the clearance. Php170! Just enough to feed a poor family's meal. Truth is, the clearance only cost 50 bucks, the remaining 120 is for their so called "Technical and processing fee." My initial reaction, who are those technical processing people and why do they charge that much?

I suddenly remember one of the subject courses I took in college where we analysed how there is such a big rate of unemployment in the Philippines. I can't help but think that however developed Makati is, we still can't deny the fact that there are still poor families living in this city. Assuming that Makati have good employment rate, we can't negate the fact that there are still a lot who strives to get employed and always unsuccessful. Why did I say so? All employers right now requires applicants to submit police clearances. And for a breadwinner of a poor family who barely make food on the table, paying Php170 bucks for a police clearance will have to let go. I wonder if Makati is ever thinking of this. But enough of this ideologies.

I am assuming that the technical and processing fee will cover for printing, paper, picture ink and police merienda. And since we are talking about technical fee, this might cover the load credits of the techie Mr. Superguard who is busy with his mobile phone texting that when I asked the process on getting the clearance, he asked me to line up. We were already standing for 5 minutes when the nice lady in my front said that the line is for picture taking and that I should first fill out a freaking form before paying. WTF! Mr. Superguard misled me simply because he can't be bothered texting! Fine and done thee. Just to finally undergo the correct process I let go. But for whatever reason, my brother was called and was asked to take his picture again, as apparently according to the so called technical staff, the information input isn't successful. How and why in the world they don't always make it on the first time?  Why do they still run carabaos when there are already tractors around? My only point: if they have the face to charge people that much, they should also have the balls to improve their system.

So after an hour and a half, we finally have our clearances. We went back (excitedly?) to COMELEC, but Mr. Thin Guy is no longer there. He was replaced by Big Daddy in orange who said that it is already cut off and that it is time that they go on lunch now. He took our photocopied IDs and said will just call our names by 1pm.  I scanned through my watch and found it is a quarter to 11. Do I have a choice again? This is Boss Number 3 we have on the floor.

We came back and found a lot of people already waiting. It was already 1:05 and no one started calling names. The office door is still closed no matter how many people already knocked. Big Daddy in orange went out the door by 1:10pm and announced: "Tapos na po ang cut off. Balik na lang po kayo bukas ng umaga. Dapat po alas-tres ang cut off kaya lang madaming tao kaya bukas na po kayo bumalik." WOW! Raging people here they come. Let's go back to what he said: there were a lot of people hence the cut off was not extended? So what the heck? Why didn't they ever let the hungry and angry people waiting outside know?

It is such a humid aftie and so that explains why people were really nuts about waiting. How come there's not even a single exhaust around? At 2pm, there was this Mr. Tummy who went out of the COMELEC office and began shouting to people. His litany includes people blocking the doorway, people can't understand that they can only accommodate a certain number of individuals a day, people shouldn't be angry etc. etc.. So let me go back to him and ask: why is he ranting outside when he should have been working at his desk and speed up the registration process? Why is he is taking a cigarette break chatting with his fat buddies outside when he just came from an extended lunch at 1:10PM? And why does he need to freaking bitch outside when he could be a little diplomatic.

Sum up we ended at 3:30 PM.

That tragic registration process cost my whole day when I could have been spying for another interesting school to accommodate me next semester. Or I could have been using this to rest. My brother lost his two therapy sessions and has been unproductive for the day. Not to mention the disappointment from his clients. I am just thankful I am on leave today and my brother's a free lancer. But how about the other citizens out there? They only want to invoke their right to suffrage. But they have been made to wait for hours, hungry and heat exhausted but earned nothing.

I freaked out with the realisation that government staff can boss around because no one else will do the job if they don't. For the first time since he ruled Makati, I begin to lay doubts on our dearest Mayor. I might have to check other options for national election.  And how else can he fulfill his banner? I wish this doesn't happen to my entire motherland.


  1. deym!... i suffered the same grueling experience during my registration when I was 18 years old. That time I had all the patience and time in my the world. Mind you, It took me 3 years of waiting to receive my voters ID.

    I am now at the same age as you... and its sickening to know that their process hadn't changed. I can't help but swear everytime I transact with government employees. They are sooo effin' retards... I dunno what the eff why they cant do their work satisfactorily when all they do is sit all day and wait for lunck break and uwian.

    I am a Makati resident too. Been here all my life. And don't get me started how The Ospital ng Makati treated me before when I was admitted for an accident. The nurses and their Yellow card bullshiz* are hell.

  2. thanks for the info. now i'm hesitating to register.

    nice artik! i like the surge of emotion. Palaban!


  3. maam pude magtanong ano ang requirements sa pag kuha ng police clearance