IN a bid to further encourage the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in different parts of the world to participate in the coming 2016 elections, the Commission on Election has made the iREHISTRO available globally.
iREHISTRO is a system that provides another way of accomplishing forms for voter registration through the Internet.
Filipinos in Asia-Pacific (except China and Taiwan), Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa now have the option of filling out the forms from the comfort of their homes, workplaces, Internet cafés or anywhere they have access to reliable Internet connection.
Prospective applicants, however, 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.
The processed applications will still have to be approved by the Resident Election Registration Board (RERB).
The online registration program also has an optional appointment feature, which allows for better time management since it provides them an easy way to schedule their personal appearance at the embassy, consulate-general, mission or Mobile/Field registration site.
Republic Act 9189, or the Overseas Voting Act of 2013, allows the Comelec to explore other more efficient, reliable and secure modes or systems, ensuring the secrecy and sanctity of the entire process, whether paper-based, electronic-based or Internet-based technology.
There are around 2.3 million OFWs in different parts of the world but records from the Comelec and the Department of Foreign Affairs showed that there are only 737,759 registered Filipino voters abroad.
Of the registered OFW voters, only 113,209 voted in the 2013 mid-term elections.