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Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez on Tuesday urged Filipinos abroad to register as overseas absentee voters (OAV) for the May 2013 Philippine elections before the October 31 deadline. In an interview with GMA News Online on Tuesday, Jimenez said the Comelec needs the help of Filipino associations abroad in promoting OAV registration because "registration for absentee voting so far has been slower compared to the previous registration cycle.”
- 10,863 registrants in the Asia-Pacific;
- 11,254 registrants in Europe;
- 12,213 in the Middle East and Africa; and
- 11,669 in North America and Latin America.
“If this trend continues, we may expect fewer absentee voters come May 2013 elections,” Jimenez added.
He said "beating the deadline" — or registering exactly on the last day of the registration — may be one of the reasons for the low number of registrants.
To encourage overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to register for OAV, Jimenez said Comelec put up three registration centers for OFWs who happen to be in the country:
- at the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) office (with 5,944 registrants*)
- at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) offce (with 4,495 registrants*)
- and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 (with 18,316 registrants*).
* as of posting time
Steps in registering as overseas voters
According to the Comelec website, applicants for OAV registration are required to submit a valid Philippine passport to establish his identity. In the absence of a valid passport, a certification of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that it has reviewed the appropriate documents shall be submitted.
In case of a seafarer, a photocopy of his Seaman’s Book or any other pertinent document shall be submitted, the Comelec said. In case of a dual citizen, the original or certified true copy of the Order of Approval of his application to retain or reacquire his Filipino citizenship or Oath of Allegiance issued by the Post or the Bureau of Immigration shall be submitted.
Applicants shall personally appear before COMELEC representatives at the designated registration centers, and submit the documents for identification.
The deadline for application is on October 31.
For more information, visit the OAV website. - VVP, GMA News