Voter Qualification and Disqualification

Election campaigns and propaganda are starting to appear even prior to the allowed campaign period. Several have already declared their intent to run for the highest post. The May 2010 Election is probably one of the hottest topics in recent days.

Election however is not only about the politicians. There will be no election if there are no voters. This aspect of election is somehow neglected as the spotlight is always directed to the politicians and not to the voters. It is therefore vital that we examine this equally important force in election.

Who are qualified to vote?

The answer to this could be found in the Constitution, particularly Sec. 1, Art. V. The qualifications for a voter are:

  1. citizen of the Philippines
  2. not disqualified by law
  3. at least 18 years old
  4. resident of the Philippines for at least 1 year immediately before the election
  5. resident of the place where they propose to vote at least 6 months immediately before the election

Is it required that I finish elementary, secondary or tertiary education in order to vote?

No. Literacy is not required in order to vote.

Do I need to have a work or income in order to vote?

No. Property is not a requirement in order for you to vote.

If I transfer to another city or municipality or country in order to work or study, will I be considered to have lost my residence?

No. Any person who transfers residence to another city, municipality or country solely by reason of his occupation, profession or employment in private or public service, education, etc., shall not be deemed to have lost his original residence.

Who are disqualified to vote?

1. Any person sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for 1 year or more (unless he is granted plenary pardon or amnesty).

2. Any person convicted of having committed any crime involving disloyalty to the government or any crime against national security.

Are they totally prevented from exercising their right to vote?

No. Because 5 years after serving their sentence, they will reacquire their right to vote.

Author: Atty. James Biron
Atty. James S. Biron is a corporate lawyer specializing in foreign investments, trade, mergers and acquisitions, planning and financing of projects and capital raising. Clients served include real estate, construction, energy, information technology, agriculture, education, medical and casino gaming companies.


  • Samantha Andrea Respecia

    okay.. thanks!!

  • Samantha Andrea Respecia

    okay.. thanks!! now i know..

  • Alfred Dumingyay

    Hi Atty. Biron,
    I Just want to ask a question on your statement above which state “If I transfer to another city or municipality or country in order to work or study, will I be considered to have lost my residence?” the answer for me is very clear,
    Here is my question “If i transfer to another city or municipality in order to work or study can i register to that place or can i transfer my voter registration to that place.? What if i’m staying in a bording house? What if i’m working in a mining area and staying inside the mine site can i transfer my voter registration on the area where i’m working? What if i’m just a guard on that municipality but i dont have any property like house etc. i’m just working there can i transfer my voters registration there?
    I need an answers thanks.

    • Atty. James Biron

      If it is not your intention to reside in that new place then you should not register as a voter in that place. You will still retain your original residence.

      However, if you are planning to settle in that new place and thereby leave your former residence. Then you may register in that new place and that will be considered as your new residence.

  • anne

    in one of the disqualifications is it 1 year or more or less than 1 year imprisonment? some say that it’s less than 1 year. I’m confused.

  • Jury Baguilat

    In reference to the query of Mr. Dumingyay above, I would like to ask the following questions:
    1. What if I don’t have the intention to reside in my work place but I want to transfer my voter registration because I have personal reason or I want to get something by doing so? I am not giving up my residency only my voting place. Can I be disqualified by way of petition?
    2. Among the qualification of a candidate is “he/she must be a resident of that certain place for at least 1 year immediately before the election. There is a person who wanted to run for a certain position this coming October and almost everybody knows that he is not a permanent resident in that place although he put up a house there, he never stayed there because he still goes home. My question is, can COMELEC allows him to run in that place? If somebody file a petition against him, what will be the sufficient evidence to be presented which is acceptable to the ERB or COMELEC?
    3. For instance, I cast my vote last May 2013 election in my residential address, am I allowed to transfer my voter registration to my work place which is different from my residential place? Can I be disqualified to transfer my voting place?
    Your answer to my queries above is very much important. Appreciate your quick answer. Thank you

    • Atty. James Biron


      1. If you have no intention to reside, then you cannot claim that new place as your new residence.

      2. There should be animus manendi (intention to reside to the new place) and animus non revertendi (intention not to return to his previous residence). If you could prove that that person lacks anyone of these, then he could be disqualified.

      3. No, you cannot transfer your voter registration to your work place. Unless you already intend to transfer there and not to return to your previous residence.

  • allen dean

    . .. . how about the intellectually disabled persons. . . . . please discuss . . . . they were not mentioned . . . .

  • Hi Atty. James. 😀
    I’m proud professional like you. I know that you master everything. I admire eloquent like you and you are my one of my inspirations to become like you and I hope so.
    Anyway, I shall know that what is the hardiest thing that you will have to get this goals?

    Thank you for concern. ^_^

    • Atty. James Biron

      Thank you Bernard! Most likely overcoming my lack of trust in my own capability. I should have trusted myself more and realize that nothing is impossible with hard work coupled with prayer.

  • archie infanso

    Now i know

  • Maribel pabular

    I want to clarify sir James, it is qualified to vote in any place wherein you wanted if you have voter I’d?

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