OFWs urged to register for 2013 polls

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 08 2012 02:09 AM | Updated as of Sep 09 2012 02:31 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) should register and take part in next year's elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said about 50 days remain for OFWs to register if they are interested to vote.

“We have a target of one million so we have to reach one million or a little below,” he said.

“So we are encouraging all the overseas workers to register on or before the Oct. 31 deadline.”

Brillantes said they are exerting much effort to convince OFWs to register because the overseas absentee voting (OAV) is still very low.

“Right now it’s very insignificant because the voting percentage is very low,” he said.

Brillantes said only 152,000 out of the estimated nine million OFWs voted in 2010.

“If the number of registrants for the OAV goes up to one million then we will have a good percentage or that could be enough vote to affect the results of the senatorial elections,” he said.

Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said they have deployed additional machines so more OFWs can register.

“If every day we could register between 1,000 to 2,000 OFWs then we can still meet the target with 50 days still remaining for the registration,” he said.

Various non-government organizations are helping the Comelec encourage OFWs to register for the OAV, Tagle said.

However, the Comelec is no longer inclined to extend the registration, Brillantes and Tagle said.