MORE than one million active registered overseas voters can be game changers in Philippine politics, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said on Monday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) said 1.3 million Filipinos registered for the 2016 elections.
Seguis, undersecretary for the Foreign Affairs’ Office of Civilian Security and Consular Concerns and concurrently chair of the DFA-OVS, said this number can bring in 5.2 million votes.
“Since overseas Filipinos are considered to be their family’s bread winners, it is not a stretch to surmise that each overseas Filipino can influence the vote of at least three family members. Thus, the 1.3 million active registered overseas voters are roughly equivalent to 5.2 million votes. This is a definite game changer for Philippine politics,” he explained.
There are almost 550,000 registered overseas voters in the Middle East and Africa; about 250,000 in the Americas; about 150,000 in Europe; and, 320,000 in Asia and the Pacific. There are 30,000 seafarers who registered as overseas voters.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista lauded the DFA and Philippine embassies for their “aggressive campaign to increase the number of registered overseas Filipino voters.”
He commended the overseas registration centers put up in the Philippines and various diplomatic posts abroad.
“I hope we can further look into the possibility of holding these registrations in public areas like malls, public squares and parks, community centers and other suitable places where the host government allows the conduct of election-related activities,” Bautista said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario also recognized the preparations done by the department and the Comelec for the holding of a successful registration process.
All Filipino citizens who expect to be abroad during the 30-day (April 9 to May 9, 2016) overseas voting period for the 2016 presidential elections and who are at least 18 years old on May 9, 2016 can register as an overseas voter at any Philippine Foreign Service Post (FSP), including the three Manila Economic and Cultural Offices (Meco) and other Comelec approved field/mobile registration centers.
For an updated list, overseas voters may check out www.dfa-oavs.gov.ph or www.comelec.gov.ph.
Overseas Filipinos in the Asia Pacific (except China and Taiwan), Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa regions can go to irehistro.comelec.gov.ph/ov to access the iREHISTRO online system and register as an overseas voter.
The registration ends on October 31, 2015.