Whose fault?
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - November 2, 2015 - 9:00am

The weekend that we just had was jam-packed. The last day of October was the final day of registration for voters. All the satellite centers of the Commission on Elections were full of people lining up to catch up the last few minutes of the last day. It was not an easy feat. Election officers had to decide to stop accepting registrants at a specific time because their system could not handle it. Of course, there were those who complained and blamed Comelec for not extending the time given for the registration. However, Comelec gave the public 17 months to register, and that was about a year and a half. They are even open on holidays, and on weekends they are at the mall.

It was not as bloody as I imagined it to be. Those who were asked to go home did not have any choice. As much as they complained and grumbled, they never got any of those colored forms that fitted their need. Comelec staff were also very kind enough to say "no" to those who badly asked to be accommodated. Enough, they said. There were days when their office barely received a registrant. They have done their part.

Talking to a few people who were in queue, they told me of how their schedules could not meet the hours of the registration or that they were too busy doing something else. Now that the registration is closed, they could only say that the nation could not wait for them.

Year after year this is the trend for Filipinos: the last week is being flocked to, much more during the last minute. Why? I could not help but ask. Is this a disease that has been inherited by the previous generations? Why don't we have a sense of time and a sense of urgency when it comes to deadlines? The Comelec registration was not the only scenario where Filipinos flock at the last minute. Almost all deadlines given by the government are crammed to when the midnight hour strikes.

It is not something to be proud of. It shows how we regard something of low importance. I would like to believe that something important to you would always be done at the soonest possible time. When things are like this, it seems they are there just to comply and for the sake of it, complain later because they did not get what they want.

Sadly, as of this writing, there is no extension. A group has filed for a petition before the Supreme Court but that is yet to be verified and checked. Two elections ago they were granted the same request but only for eight days. However, the same trend was observed. The public were seen flocking only at the last minute. It gives a conclusion that it is not the government's fault but the people who decided to do it later.

Well, isn't "do it later" an old Spanish habit that we often called "mañana"? The mañana is deadly as it heeds no output and rots the lazy. It leads to a vicious cycle of laziness and tardiness. How can we change a nation if we are too lazy to even do our part while we can.

It isn't too bad for those who failed to catch the last day of registration. Maybe next election there is a time to line up again. I only hope it is not on the last day.




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