MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) recently announced that active registered overseas voters have reached over 1.4 million for the 2016 national elections.

According to DFA-OVS, final tally reports for the recently concluded 2014-2015 overseas voting registration/certification period last October 31 from the Foreign Service Posts, Manila Cultural Offices and Local Overseas Voter Registration Centers, the total number of Active Registered Voters (ARVs) at 1,400,767 for the 2016 national elections, surpassing the 1.4 million mark.

“This is the first time in the history of Philippine overseas voting that we will have over one million active overseas registered voters for an election,” DFA-OVS Chair, Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis said.

He explained that the high turnout of registrants is the result of lessons learned from the previous electoral cycles, consistent hard work of Foreign Service Posts, and genuine interest of Filipinos to exercise their right to choose our new leaders.

“Their desire to actively participate in our political process could be a sign that our democracy has reached a new level of maturity after almost thirty years of its restoration,” Seguis added.

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner-in-Charge of overseas voting Arthur D. Lim commended DFA-OVS for its tremendous efforts contributing to the increase in the number of the overseas registered voters.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Del Rosario also commended the Department and COMELEC for successful start for the registration process.

Likewise, COMELEC Chairman Andres D. Bautista lauded the efforts of the DFA-OVS and all the Philippine Embassies in their aggressive campaign to increase the number of registered Overseas Filipino Voters.

“I sincerely appreciate the initiatives to put up overseas registration centers in the country as well as in our Embassies. I also commend the Embassies for including the overseas voting registration in their mobile consular services. I hope we can further look into the possibility of holding these registrations in public areas like malls, public squares and parks, community centers and other suitable places where the host government allows the conduct of election related activities,” Chairman Bautista said

Meanwhile, the period for filing of application for reactivation of registration records for the one hundred sixty-three thousand nineteen (163,019) overseas voters who were deactivated (per COMELEC Resolution 9983) for failing to vote in two consecutive national elections has been extended from 31 October 2015 to 09 December 2015.

In addition, COMELEC-OFOV has also simplified the process of the Application for Reactivation for overseas voters (OVF No. 1G) by allowing the filing by either:

Sending a copy of the duly accomplished OVF No. 1G via e-mail to overseasvoting.reactivation@comelec.gov.ph or through facsimile to (0632) 521-29-52; or

Personally or through mail at the nearest Embassy, Consulate, Mission, MECO or at the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) in COMELEC, Manila.

The form for Application for Reactivation is available at any Embassy, Consulate, Mission, MECO or may be downloaded from the COMELEC (www.comelec.gov.ph) and DFA-OVS (www.dfa-oavs.gov.ph) websites. DFA/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR