From MindaNews (Jan 22): Photo: Salute
Maj. Gen. Oscar Lactao, commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, salutes to waiting officers after coming down from the UH-1H Huey helicopter to attend the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee meeting at the provincial capitol in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur Wednesday (21 Jan 2015), where he said more troops will be deployed in the Caraga Region to help in the “development and not war.” MindaNews photo by Erwin Mascarinas
This massive registration application started since January 05, the first working day for 2015 and shall continue until March 31, 2015. Massive registration shall be observed in other Bangsamoro core territories in the coming days.
The influx of registrants with COMELEC-Cotabato City Office is the result of the first in the series of orientations on the importance of registering as new voters being conducted by the Bangsamoro Development Agency Regional Management Office (BDA RMO Central Mindanao) in partnership with the Al-Amanah Humanitarian and Development Services, Incorporated (AHDSi).
The BDA-RMO Central Mindanao is headed by Manager Hashim B. Manticayan while Engr. Aida M. Silongan heads the AHDSi.
The 1st orientation coupled with action planning was conducted last December 18, 2014 at Al-Nor Convention Center, Cotabato City and was participated in by 158 Cotabato City-based AHDSi members, BDA Volunteers and development catalysts. Eight (8) District Teams composed of Development Catalysts and AHDSi members were organized to ensure that the one hundred percent turn-out of new and qualified Bangsamoro registrants in every district in Cotabato City is achieved by March 31, 2015.
As a result of this planning workshop, more than 200 registration applicants since January 5, 2015 were reported by the City Development Catalyst as of January 15, 2015.
The 2nd orientation was conducted during the 4th Provincial Development Catalysts (PDC) Quarterly Meeting on December 30, 2014 at Balas, Tacupen, Carmen, North Cotabato graced by BDA Executive Director Mohammad S. Yacob and Datu Unsay Municipal Election Officer Tahir Abu. It was attended by more or less 185 participants most of them were development catalysts from the eleven (11) provinces, BDA staff and volunteers.
Series of the similar orientations were scheduled this January 2015. The 3rd orientation conducted in Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on January 4, 2015; 4th in Biwang, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat province on January 11, 2015; 5th in Matampay, Balabagan, Lanao del Sur on January 13, 2015; 6th in Pebpuluan, Carmen, North Cotabato on January 16, 2015; 7th in Maganoy, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao on January 17, 2015; and 8th in Poblacion, Pagalungan, Maguindanao on January 18, 2015.
Some of the important reminders were presented and clarified during the series of orientations as follows 1) The filling-up and submission of registration application form doesn’t mean the registration is already approved and that one can immediately participate in any electoral processes; 2) Approval/disapproval of registration applications are done through a hearing of the Election Regulatory Board (ERB) conducted every three months, thus, registration applications from January 5to March 31, 2015 will still be approved/disapproved on April 20, 2015 ERB’s hearing; and 3) To ensure participation in the coming plebiscite expectedly on June/July this year, unregistered qualified Bangsamoro has to register within January to March 2015 so ensure his/her registration is approved on April 20, 2015 and assured of his/her participation in the coming plebiscite set early this year.
On March 7, 2015, a Special Satellite Registration will be conducted at Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao according to Atty.Udtog M. Tago, Maguindanao Provincial Election Supervisor III.
Municipal Election Officers of Maguindanao province will be reporting to Darapanan bringing with them their respective machines to facilitate the registration application of the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in accordance with the municipality where they reside.
One of the highlights of the activities at Darapanan on March 7 is that MILF Central Committee officials will be the first to register to be witnessed by COMELEC officials, local and international NGOs, and other stakeholders.