Presidential Decree No. 1187




M a n i l a



WHEREAS, an accurate and complete listing of all qualified voters in a constituency is indispensable to the holding of free, orderly and honest elections, plebiscite and referenda;

WHEREAS, the registration of voters through the permanent and continuing system established under the Election Code of 1971 has not been implemented since the ratification on January 17, 1973 of the 1973 Constitution, due to certain provisions of the new Charter which rendered some aspects of the system inoperative;

WHEREAS, the 1973 Constitution reduced the voting age from twenty one to eighteen and enfranchised illiterate citizens possessing the necessary qualifications;

WHEREAS, there is necessity to update the list of qualified voters throughout the Philippines to assure that the results of elections, plebiscites and referenda shall be truly reflective of the will of the people;

WHEREAS, furthermore, specific problems usually confronting the voters on election day, such as locating their place of voting, identifying themselves as voters, etc., are expected to be obviated if a new and general registration of qualified voters is undertaken;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, hereby decree;

Section 1. General Registration of Qualified Voters. There shall be a general registration of qualified voters in all voting centers throughout the Philippines on the date or dates to be fixed by law, which shall not be later than the end of October, 1977.

Sec. 2. Permanent and Continuing System of Registration. Notwithstanding the registration herein provided, any qualified voter may register under the permanent and continuing system of registration as provided in Presidential Decree No. 1099, dated February 25, 1977.

Sec. 3. Necessity of Registration. A qualified voter must be duly registered as such to entitle him to cast his vote in any election, plebiscite or referendum.

Sec. 4. Qualifications of a voter. Any citizen of the Philippines, not otherwise disqualified by law, eighteen years of age or over, who has resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the city, municipality or municipal district where the proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election, may register as a voter.

Any person who cannot read and write or who is physically unable to write his application for registration but who possesses all the qualifications of a voter and none of the disqualifications may register in the manner hereinafter prescribed.

Sec. 5. Disqualifications. The following shall be disqualified from registering:

(a) Any person who has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not less than one year, such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon; provided, however, That any person disqualified to vote under this paragraph shall automatically reacquire the right to vote upon expiration of ten years after service of sentence unless during such period, he shall have been sentenced by final judgment to suffer an imprisonment of not less than one year.

(b) Any person who has been adjudged by final judgment by competent court or tribunal of having violated his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

(c) Insane or feeble-minded persons.

(d) Persons suffering temporary special disqualifications from exercising the right of suffrage in accordance with existing law.

Sec. 6. Appointment of registration committee. The Commission shall, directly or through its duly authorized representatives, appoint, at least ten days before the registration day a citizens registration committee for each voting center to be composed of a chairman, a poll clerk, and a third member. The chairman and the poll clerk shall be public school teachers. The third member shall be a member of the barangay council, to be proposed by the barangay captain (See Memo. Cir. No. 1013, post.)

Sec. 7. Qualifications of members of the registration committee. No person shall be appointed nor shall act as chairman or members of the registration committee or substitute, unless he is of good moral character and irreproachable reputation, a qualified voter of the municipality, has never been convicted of any election offense or of any other crime punishable by more than six months of imprisonment, or if he has pending against him an information for any election offense. He must know how to speak and write English or the local dialect.

Sec. 8. Powers of the Registration Committee. The citizens registration committee shall have the following powers and functions:

(a) Undertake the registration of voters as authorized herein;

(b) Act as deputies of the Commission in the supervision and control of the registration in the centers wherein they are assigned to assure that registration of qualified voters shall be done in a free, orderly and honest manner;

(c) Perform such other functions prescribed by this Decree or the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission.

Sec. 9. Voting centers to be used for Registration Purposes. Without prejudice to the establishment of new voting centers, transfer, merger or splitting or existing ones, the voting centers which functioned as such during the referendum-plebiscite of October 1976 shall be used as the centers for purposes of the registration of voters.

Section 10. Creation of new voting centers. In places where there are no existing voting centers and there are at least two hundred voters, the Commission may authorized the establishment of new voting center or take steps to place such areas under existing voting centers. Said centers shall, as far as practicable, be located in public school buildings or other public buildings upon consultation with local officials and other persons concerned.

The creation of new voting centers shall be communicated to the Division Superintendent of Schools and the Provincial Election Supervisor concerned in order that the corresponding members of the election committees may be duly appointed.

Section 11. Applications for Registration. Every person desiring to be registered shall personally appear before the citizens election committee in the voting center nearest his place of residence and, under oath taken before the said citizens election committee, sign and affix the imprint of the thumb of his right and left hands to a statement in triplicate, wherein the following appear:

(a) Name, Surname, and middle/maternal surname;

(b) Date and place of birth;

(c) Citizenship;

(d) Sector, if any

(e) Periods of residence of the Philippines and in the place of registration;

(f) Exact address with the name of the street and the house number, or in case there be none, a brief description of the locality and place;

(g) A statement that he possesses all the qualifications required of a voter and that he is not in any way legally disqualified from voting;

(h) A statement that he has not applied for registration with the election registrar or in any other voting center.

Section 12. Use of 1971 Book Voters. Whenever practicable and in order to facilitate the registration of voters, especially of those previously registered in the 1971 elections, the Commission on Elections may authorize the delivery to the proper voting center of the voters affidavits from the City of Municipal File of each City or Municipality, which shall be validated and properly entered in the list of voters whenever warranted.

Section 13. Illiterate or disabled applicants. Any applicant for registration who is illiterate or physically unable to prepare the application by himself may appear before the citizens election committee in the voting center nearest his place of residence, accompanied by a person of his confidence, preferably a relative by affinity or consanguinity within the fourth civil degree. The person thus chosen shall prepare the application for registration in accordance with the data supplied by the applicant. The illiterate or disabled applicant shall be required to affix the thumbmarks or his left and right hands in the presence of the citizens election committee.

Section 14. Identification of applicants. Any applicants for registration who is not known to the members of the citizens election committee may be identified by any voter of the barangay or by the production of any paper or document showing his identity.

Section 15. Approval or disapproval of application. Upon receipt of the sworn application for registration, the citizens election committee shall approve it if it finds the applicant possessing all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications of a voter. Upon approval, the committee shall forthwith issue a certificate of registration to the voter.

If the applicant does not possesses all the qualifications or has any of the disqualifications of a voter, the committee shall disapprove the application.

Section 16. Certificate of registration. The certificate of registration issued to the voter as provided under the preceding section shall serve and be considered as an identification of the registered voter; Provided, however, That no voter shall be required to present his certificate of registration on election, plebiscite or referendum day if his identity be shown by other records or fingerprints in his approved application in the precinct book or if he is identified under oath by a member of the election committee or by a duly accredited watcher.

A voter previously registered in accordance with Sec. 2 hereof shall, upon request, be issued a certificate of registration by the election registrar concerned.

No extra copy or duplicate of the certificate of registration shall be prepared and issued except upon authority of the Commission.

Section 17. Challenge of right to register. Any person applying for registration may be challenged before the citizens election committee on any registration day by any member of the committee, watcher, or any member of the barangay concerned. The committee shall then examine the challenged person and shall receive such other evidence as it may deem pertinent, after which it shall decide whether the applicant shall be registered or not.

All challenges shall be heard and decided without delay, and in any case, within one hour after receiving the evidence. Thereafter, the committee shall duly inform the persons concerned of its action.

Section 18. Preparations of the list of voters. After every meeting for registration of voters, the citizens election committee shall prepare an alphabetical list of voters in triplicate based on the approved applications for registration. The list of registered voters shall contain six columns, as follows: In the first column there shall be entered, at the time of the closing of the list before each election, a number opposite the name of each voter registered, beginning with number one continuing in consecutive order until the end of the list. In the second column, the surnames generally sued by such persons shall be written in alphabetical order followed by their respective Christian or first names, without abbreviations of any kind. In the third column, the respective residence of such persons with the name of the street and house number, or, in case there be none, a brief description of the locality or place. In the fourth column, there shall be recorded on the day of the election the number of the ballot which was given to the voter. In the fifth column, the voter shall stamp on the day of the election the mark of the thumb or his right hand and under said mark his signature, and in the sixth column, the signature of the member of the committee who has handed the ballot to the voter. It shall be the duty of the election committee to see to it that the thumbmark is stamped plainly.

The purposes of preparation of the list, the election registrar shall deliver to the proper citizens election committee all the approved applications under his custody pertaining to the voting center for inclusion in the list of voters on the first registration day.

Section 19. Certification of the election committee. Upon the adjournment of each meeting for the registration of voters, the election committee shall close each alphabetical group or surnames of voters by writing the date on the next line blank, which shall be forthwith signed by each member, and, before adding a new name on the same page at the next meeting, it shall write the following: "Added at the . . . meeting," Specifying if it is the second, third or fourth meeting of the committee and the date thereof. If the meeting adjourned is the last one for the registration of voters, the committee, shall, besides closing each alphabetical group of voters as above provided, add at the end of the list a certification (a) of the corrections and cancellations made in the list, specifying them, or that there has been none, and (b) of the total number of voters registered in the voting center.

Sec. 20. Distribution of the lists. As soon as the lists of registered voters are completed and duly certified, the same shall forthwith be distributed as follows: One copy to the election registrar concerned; one copy to the Provincial Election Supervisor, in whose offices said list shall be open to public inspection during regular office hours. In the event that the copy in possession of the chairman is lost or destroyed, the list of votes in the custody of the election registrar shall be used on election day.

Sec. 21. Preservation of voter's application for registration. The original of the application for registration of each voter shall be delivered to the election registrar concerned to be complied and incorporated alphabetically into the book of voters to be called the municipal file.

The election committee shall send the duplicate on the day following the approval of the application to the office of the provincial election supervisor of the province for inclusion in the provincial file in accordance with Sec. 127 of Republic Act 6388.

The triplicate shall be delivered to the election registrar for transmittal to the national central file in the Commission pursuant to Sec. 128 of said law. All copies of disapproval applications shall be sent to the election registrar who shall place them in the inactive file.

Sec. 22. Watchers. Civic, religious, youth, farmers, labor, veterans, women's, professional, service and other similar organizations may designate under written authority one watcher each in every registration center to observe the conduct of the registration in said center, notifying the Election Registrar concerned of such designation.

The watchers shall have the right to stay in the space reserved from them with the registration center to witness and inform themselves of the proceedings taking place therein, to take note of what they may see or hear, to file a protest against any irregularity which they believe may have been committed by the committee, to obtain from the poll clerk or secretary a certificate as to the filing of such protest and the resolution thereon, but they shall not speak to the members of the registration committee or to the voters, or among themselves in such manner as to interrupt or disturb the proceedings.

Sec. 23. Assistance of Barangays, Civic, Youth, Farmers, Labor, Veterans, Women's Professional, Service and other organizations. To facilitate the registration of the maximum number of qualified voters, the barangay, civic, youth, farmers, labor, veterans, women, professional, service and other similar organizations shall, singly or in concert with one another and under the over-all coordination of the Citizens National Committee on Referenda, Plebiscites and Election (CINACOR) extend assistance to the Commission on Elections in the campaign to make all qualified voters register as such.

Sec. 24. Inclusion and exclusion proceedings. The provisions of Republic Act 6368 on inclusion and exclusion of voters shall remain in full force and effect and shall apply to registration of voters under this Decree: Provided, However, That petitions for inclusion or exclusion shall be filed not later than ten days after the last day of registration of voters and in no case later than five days before the day of any election, plebiscite, or referendum.

Sec. 25. Offenses and penalties. The offenses enumerated in the Election Code of 1971 and other related statutes committed on the occasion of, or in connection with the registration of voters as decreed herein shall be punished and prosecuted in the same manner provided in said statutes.

Sec. 26. Jurisdiction of courts. City and Municipal courts shall have jurisdiction to issue warrants of arrest and to try and decide any criminal action or proceeding for offenses under this Decree. From the decisions of these courts, appeal lie as in other criminal cases.

Sec. 27. Prosecution of offenses. The Commission on Elections shall, through its duly authorized legal officers, have the power to conduct preliminary investigations of all offenses and to prosecute the same before the proper courts.

Sec. 28. Powers of the Commission. The Commission on Election shall have supervision and control over the registration of voters herein provided and shall promulgate the rules and regulations and prescribe the forms necessary to implement this Decree, procure any supplies, equipment, motor vehicles, materials or services needed for the holding of the election either by negotiation or through sealed quotations if it finds the requirements of public bidding impracticable to observe; hire under contractual basis the service of personnel if this method is found to be more expedient and economical; and any provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding, authorize the payment of compensation to its official and employees, and those assigned thereto, for overtime services rendered on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and on scheduled working days, at rates in accordance with existing laws.

Sec. 29. Suppletory Statutes. All provisions of Republic Act 6368, Presidential Decree No. 1099 and other pertinent statutes, not inconsistent with this decree shall have suppletory force and effect thereto.

Sec. 30. Appropriations. The fund necessary to implement this decree shall be appropriated under the law fixing the date or dates of the registration.

Sec. 31. Repealing Clause. All laws, decrees, rules and regulations or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this decree are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Sec. 32. Effectivity. This decree shall take effect upon approval.

DONE in the City of Manila this 27th day of August in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-seven.

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