A first: Overseas voter registration set to reach 1M, says DFA
MANILA – The voter registration has surpassed the 600,000 mark with a little over two months left before the registation period ends, the Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Voting Secretariat said.
“At the current pace of registration, the 2016 Presidential elections will be the first to have over a million active registered overseas voters. Attaining this goal can definitely be a game changer,” Office of Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Undersecretary Rafael Seguis, who is concurrently Chairman of DFA-OVS, said.
The DFA-OVS said there are now 600,823 new overseas registrants. Of the number, the Foreign Service Post (FSP) in the Middle East and Africa processed the most number of new OV registrants at 249,512. It was followed by the FSP in the Americas at 123,993; the European FSPs with 68,124 and 91,088 from Asia and the Pacific; while the OVRCs in the Philippines contributed 68,106.
In the Philippines, six overseas voter registration centers (OVRCs) were opened last July at the DFA’s Regional Consular Offices in Davao, Cebu and San Fernando, Pampanga and also at the DFA’s Satellite Offices at Robinson’s Galleria, SM Manila and Ali Mall. This is in addition to the nine OVRCs that have already been processing applications for registration/certification for OFWs, immigrants, seafarers and students who are about to leave for abroad and who are not yet registered as overseas voters.
Last June, the iREHISTRO online system that provides another way of accomplishing forms for voter registration-related process went global.
Filipinos in the Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa region now have the option of filling up the forms from the comfort of their homes, workplace, Internet café, or anywhere they have access to reliable Internet connection.
The optional appointment feature of the system allows for better time management since it provides them an easy way to schedule their personal appearance at the embassy, consulate, mission or mobile/field registration site.
iREHISTRO applicants still have to appear personally at Foreign Service Posts or Mobile/Field registration sites, to sign and submit their duly accomplished printed form, and for biometrics capturing. In addition, the processed applications still have to be approved by the Resident Election Registration Board (RERB).
All Filipino citizens who expect to be abroad during the thirty day (09 April – 09 May 2016) overseas voting period for the 2016 Presidential Elections, at least 18 years old on 09 May 2016, and not otherwise disqualified by law, may personally register as an overseas voter, at all FSPs, including the three Manila Economic and Cultural Offices (MECO), 15 OVRCs in the Philippines and at other COMELEC approved field/mobile registration centers.
The voter registration period will end on October 31, 2015.