MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday urged overseas Filipino workers repatriated during the COVID-19 pandemic to transfer their registration records in order to participate in the national elections in 2022.
“Those who registered abroad and went back ang payo ko lang po is kung alam nyo na talaga na from voting period na April 10 to May 9 ay mananatili pa rin po kayo dito pumunta na tayo sa election officer natin kung saan tayo nakatira. Meron na pong OVF form doon na fill upan para mapadala sa OFOV para mapatransfer registration nila. Its just that simple,” said Atty. Philip Luis Marin of the Comelec’s Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV).
(I advise those who registered abroad but went back, if you know that you will be here during the voting period from April 10 to May 9, go to your election officer where you are located. They have an OVF form there that you will have to fill up for us at the OFOV to transfer your registration.)
The deadline for the transfer of registration from post to local is on Aug. 31, 2021.
Since May 2020, over a half a million OFWs have been repatriated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Marin said some of them are qualified voters and the Comelec continues to reach out to them to convince them to transfer their registration if they will be voting here in the Philippines.
As of June 7, 2021, Marin said they have so far approved the transfer of registration of 7,223 post to local applications.
Marin, during the 2nd virtual Comelec Media Conference for the 2022 elections, said there are 1,423,941 total registered overseas voters as of May 19, 2021.
He explained that an application once filed is checked by their automated fingerprint identification system to weed out multiple registrants.
“The target, upon consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs, to still register is about 1.6 million or more,” he said.
To attain this, Marin said there is a need to reach out also to the relatives and friends of OFWs to convince them to register and vote.
“If we can reach these friends and relatives nationwide for them to convince the qualified voters to register and vote, I think we can reach that 1.6 million registered voters,” he said.
Marin said their target has decreased this year compared to about 1.8 million in 2019 elections due to the pandemic situation.