By Leslie Ann G. Aquino
Qualified Filipinos overseas may still register as an overseas absentee voter (OAV) until September 30, 2018 to be able to cast their votes in the May 2019 midterm elections.
In a related development, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it is asessing the proposal of some lawmakers to extend the general voter’s registration period.
Transfer registration deadline
The Comelec the last day to request for transfer of registration record from one Philippine post (embassy or consulate) to another post, from one country to another belonging to the same Philippine post, and from the jurisdiction of one Philippine post to the Philippine municipality/city/district of the voter’s residence is on September 15.
The Comelec said requests for transfer may be filed at the following local field registration centers: the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila; Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO); the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina); Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Intramuros; the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) at the offices of both the Balik Manggagawa (BM) and OWWA; the offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Alabang, Aseana, Robinsons Galleria, and SM Manila.
Applications may also be filed at the concerned Philippine Foreign Service Posts.
It was last December when registration for the OAV for the May 2019 elections started.
There were a total of 1.3 million registered overseas voters in the May 2016 elections.
‘Go out and vote’
Earlier, the Comelec encouraged qualified Filipinos overseas to register.
It said all Filipino citizens who expect to be overseas 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.
“That is under consideration right now,” Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said of the proposal to extend the registration of voters.
“The commission en banc will still have to decide on it,” he added.
The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives earlier urged the poll body to extend to January 13, 2019 the voter registration for the May 2019 midterm elections.
Voter registration kicked off last July 2, 2018 and will end on September 29, 2018.
Jimenez, meantime, clarified that the only change in the May 2019 midterm elections’ calendar of activities is in the filing of certificate of candidacy which was moved to October 11 to 17, 2018 from October 1 to 5, 2018.