The Philippines’ Commission on Elections, or Comelec, is once again boosting its efforts to get eligible voters’ biometrics registered for next year’s national election. With the October 31 registration deadline fast approaching, Comelec has launched a new media campaign under the banner ‘Walang Forever’, a phrase roughly translating to ‘nothing lasts forever’.
The new campaign follows the summer’s catchy slogan, ‘no bio, no boto‘, a phrase meaning ‘no biometrics, no vote’. Comelec has continually adopted a marketing-savvy, populist approach in trying to get voters registered, with celebrities tweeting about the drive and registration centers opening at the country’s popular malls. It’s a relatively transparent, inclusive approach that appears to be aimed at helping to ensure the success of biometric polling when it’s ultimately implemented; a recent pilot test of biometric polling in a regional by-election in Pakistan suffered from a lack of registered biometric data.
But the approach is also likely designed to limit public suspicion of – and pushback against – the onset of biometric polling. As biometric technology increasingly sees public deployments, it’s also facing increased scrutiny from concerned citizens and in some cases government officials. Large-scaled deployments like the one being prepared in the Philippines will require a certain amount of public engagement to address such concerns, and Comelec appears to be doing all it can in that effort.
Source: The Philippine Star
August 25, 2015 – by Alex Perala