Comelec eases sailors’ registration

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With the reported success of its mall registration project, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday launched another registration campaign to encourage some 400,000 Filipino seafarers on board foreign vessels to register and avail of the absentee voting mechanism.

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A memorandum of agreement was signed by Comelec Commissioner Al Parreno, Maritime Industry Authority Chairman Maximo Mejia Jr. and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis authorizing the setting up of a field registration center at the Marina offices to make easier and encourage seafarers to register and have their biometrics taken.

“It will make registration accessible and voting easy to all Filipino seamen,” Parreno said.

He added that seafarers and other overseas Filipino workers may also avail of the I-rehistro project or online registration by just going to the Comelec website for the purpose.

According to Parreno, some 600,000 migrant workers have already availed of the portal.

Mejia said some 68,000 seamen had registered and availed of the absentee voting mechanism, confident that the target 400,000 registrants this year would be achieved before the end-October deadline.

Seguis disclosed that there is also the so-called “Akyat Barko Program” wherein the registration program is brought right at the doorstep of Filipino seafarers.

To date, according to Seguis, there are 335,852 foreign registrations.

The projects were all in accordance with the Comelec’s approved roll-out worldwide registration through Resolution 15-0147.

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