Extend overseas voter registration deadline to Jan 2016 – OFW group
MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) group Migrante is urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the deadline for the registration of overseas voters (OVs) by 3 months, or until the second week of January 2016.
"We understand that the OAV registration will be ending October 31. However, there are more overseas Filipinos who have manifested their willingness to register so that they can vote for the incoming national elections," said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante's Middle East coordinator.
Monterona added that since OV registration requires personal appearance, many OFWs may have difficulty in reaching the embassies and consulates because of work or financial constraints.
While there are field mobile registrations, Monterona said that they are confined to major cities.
Last week, Comelec and the Department of Foreign Affairs' Overseas Absentee Voter office announced the extension of the reactivation of deactivated overseas voters, or those who were deactivated because they did not vote in the two previous elections, until December 31.
“We welcome the COMELEC and DFA-OAVS decision to extend the reactivation period until December 31. But many OFs will be more than happy if the overseas voters’ registration will also be extended until the 2nd week of January 2016,” Monterona said, adding that Migrante chapters will send OAV extension letter requests to Comelec and Philippine diplomatic posts.
According to the latest Comelec data, at least 1.1 million voters overseas have registered to vote. Philippine government data estimates that there are between 10 and 15 million Filipinos residing overseas. – Rappler.com