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795,000 overseas absentee voters registered so far, DFA says


About 200,000 voter registrants have signed up for inclusion in the country’s list of overseas absentee voters (OAV)—now numbering nearly 800,000—the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.   The DFA said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) approved new 205,321 OAV applications received and processed as of August 2.   “If the trend continues, we could considerably reach our target of 1 million voters,” DFA Undersecretary Jose Brillantes said.   Brillantes is chairman of the Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat.   “During the last three months there is always a tendency for the registration to spike up,” he said.   “The response was encouraging,” Brillantes said. “Because of the clamor from OFWs, we try to make the process least inconvenient for them.”   Deadline for registration is on October 31, 2012.   OAV eligible to cast ballots in the 2013 national and local elections now number 795,151 which is just 8.41 percent of the 9.45 million Filipinos based abroad as permanent residents, temporary residents and of irregular status, as estimated by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.   Many of the new OAV registrants—99,409—signed up at registration centers set up for departing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at the Terminals 1 and 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).   OAV registration desks are also deployed at the offices of the CFO, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and  Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.   Philippine diplomatic posts and missions received 105,912 registrations.   The DFA post in Dubai had 11,396 OAV registrants followed by Los Angeles (8,959), Milan (6,260), Riyadh (6,151), Hong Kong (5,958), San Francisco (5,636), Singapore (5,042), Tel Aviv (4,495), Rome (4,134) and Kuwait (4,106). — ELR, GMA News