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Comelec approves pilot project for internet overseas voter registration

MANILA - The Commission on Elections, through the promulgation of Resolution No. 9903, approved the piloting of  the iRehistro Project (internet registration) for overseas voter registration, the Department of Foreign Affairs - Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) announced on Friday, October 17.
 
DFA said the pilot project will be implemented by the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, Spain (Madrid PE), beginning the first week November 2014 for a period of one month, to cover both sea-based and land-based registrants.
 
Within thirty days of its initial implementation, Madrid PE shall submit its report and recommendation on the viability to continue the implementation of the project. If the pilot IRehistro Project is found to be viable, other Philippine foreign service posts may then request for inclusion in the project.
 
Last 03 October, the Overseas Voter Registration Center (OVRC) at the Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) was inaugurated. This is the third OVRC to be launched in preparation for the 2016 Presidential Elections. The first OVRC is in the DFA-Office of Consular Affairs (DFA-OCA) in Macapagal Avenue, Paranaque City, and the second OVRC is in the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in Quirino Avenue, Manila.
 
 
Last September (fifth month of registration), overseas voter registration continued to accelerate by reaching a monthly tally of 42,482. The tally for May was 18,670; 20,836 in June; 24,366 in July; and 38,945 in August, bringing five month total of new overseas registrant to 145, 299.
 
The opening of more OVRCs (POEA, NAIA 1, 2 & 3, and other locations) and the full implementation of internet registration for overseas voters, will help sustain the momentum towards reaching the ambitious but statistically attainable goal of one million new overseas voter registrants by 31 October 2015.
 
“At the current pace of registration, we could have an overseas voter stock of over two million for the 2016 Presidential elections. Attaining this goal can definitely be a game changer,” Office of Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis, who is concurrently Chairman of DFA-OVS, said.
 
The September tally broken down by region is as follows: the Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) processed 19,423 new OV registrants, 9,380 from the Americas, the European FSPs with 4,324, and 4,788 from the Asia Pacific (4,567 from Philippine OVRCs). The top ten FSPs are Riyadh (6,055), Abu Dhabi (4,027), Dubai (3,711), Los Angeles (2,407), Jeddah (2,390), San Francisco (1,655), Singapore (1,485), Toronto (1,323), Vancouver (1,181), and Rome (1,049).
 
“The preparations by the Department and the Commission on Elections led to a successful start for the registration process,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a letter.
 
“The challenge for OV registration is to maintain the momentum by keeping the overseas Filipinos interested and engaged in this democratic process,” Sec. del Rosario added.
 
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 register as an overseas voter, at all Philippine Foreign Service Posts including the three (3) Manila Economic and Cultural Offices (MECO), Office of Consular Affairs, Macapagal Ave., ASEANA Business Park,Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), 1345 Pres. Quirino Ave., Paco, Manila and at other COMELEC approved registration centers outside of the FSPs or in the Philippines.

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