By Ina Reformina | ABS-CBN News
MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday reminded repatriated Filipinos who plan to vote here in the 2022 elections that they must process the transfer of their overseas voter record until Aug. 31.
At least 600,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have returned or were repatriated since the pandemic hit, the Labor Department said on Sunday.
OFWs with active voter registration records and complete biometrics data with the Comelec have to process the transfer of their voter record from the overseas registry to the Philippines until August 31 should they plan to vote in the country next year.
"Sa mga overseas voters natin na gustong bumoto dito sa Pilipinas, at kung kayo’y rehistrado at nakaboto dati, maaari lang pong sumadya sa amin o mag-apply dito sa Pilipinas on or before Aug. 31, 2021," said Philip Luis Marin of the Comelec Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV).
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the poll body now allows online processing of registration for active voters with complete biometrics data.
Even the interview with an election officer and oath taking of the voter will be scheduled virtually.
Marin said OFWs planning to vote here may avail of this online service.
"Hindi niyo na kailangan mag-appear pa before the registration centers or sa office ng election officer kung magagamit naman 'yung dati niyong mga datos— complete 'yung biometrics, ibig sabihin pati fingerprints sa amin database," Marin said.
Meanwhile, OFWs who will be voting overseas need to process their overseas voter registration, including those transferring from one country or post to another and those who need to update or correct entries in their voter record, on or before the Sept. 30 deadline.
Marin said the current number of overseas voter registrants is estimated at around 1.5 million.
The overseas voter target for next year's elections is at 1.6 million.
Overseas voter turnout in the 2019 midterm polls was the highest for a midterm election, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs, with 334,928 votes cast out of 1.8 million registered overseas voters.