The Department of Foreign Affairs – Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS), announced on Wednesday afternoon that the 2016-2018 overseas voter (OV) registration that commenced on December 1 last year and will end on September 30 next year, has set a new record for first quarter performance, garnering a total of 67,497 new OV registrants for the 2019 elections.
It surpassed the number in the first three months of 2014-2015 OV registration that had a total of 64,074 new OV registrants and the previous record of 64,917 that was set in 2009.
The overseas voter registration in preparation for the 2016 elections netted a cumulative total of 1.376 million active registered overseas voters. The 826,881 new registrants for the 2016 elections were more than a 100-percent increase over the 398,554 new registrants for the 2013 elections.
Of the almost 1.4 million registered overseas voters, 590,440 were in the Middle East and Africa, 334,215 in the Asia Pacific, 263,316 in the Americas, 138,757 in Europe, and 49,339 were sea-based.
The attainable target for this registration period is 1.1 million OV registrants, which would net a cumulative total of 2.13 million active registered voters for the coming national elections.
“This new milestone can be mostly attributed to the hard-work and dedication of the men and women of our Foreign Service who are aggressively campaigning to encourage more overseas Filipinos to participate in this ongoing electoral exercise. Our media partners and other OV stakeholders are also playing a vital role in disseminating overseas voting awareness among our kababayans [countrymen]abroad,” said Undersecretary Ariel Abadilla, who is concurrently chairman of DFA-OVS.
“There are still plenty of overseas Filipinos that have yet to register and vote so it’s the duty of DFA-OVS along with the Foreign Service Posts to encourage them to register and vote because this coming midterm elections is important specially if constitutional amendment bill will be approved by the Philippine Congress,” Abadilla added.
All Filipino citizens who expect to be abroad from April 13 to May 13, 2019 during the overseas voting period for the 2019 elections, at least 18 years old on May 13, 2019, and not otherwise disqualified by law, may register as an overseas voter, at all Philippine Foreign Service Posts including the three Manila Economic and Cultural Offices in Taiwan and Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Al-Khobar.