Thursday, September 20, 2012

Survey Says Pinoys Abroad Don’t Know How to Register for OAV

The Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) registration for the 2013 national elections started on November 02, 2011 and would end on October 31, 2012.

As the deadline nears, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Commission on Elections (Comelec) are urging Filipinos abroad to register so they can meet their target of one million registrants. As of September 10, stats from the DFA said that they still need more or less 150,000 registrants to meet this target.

What could be the reason why some Filipinos abroad fail to register for the OAV?  Could it be that many would like to exercise their right to participate in the national elections even when they are out of the country but just don’t know how or where to do it.

Survey Result:

Apparently many Filipinos abroad would like to register for the OAV but are hindered by lack of information about the registration process or venues. Another reason is because the registration is too far from their place.

This conclusion is based in an informal survey conducted among site visitors of and Facebook page from September 2 to September 11, 2012.

Of the respondents, only 12.2% have already registered for the OAV. This is in far contrast from the 87.8% who have not yet registered.

Why They Did Not Register

Of the survey respondents who are not yet registered, 34.7% said that they want to register but don’t know how or where. 29.6% said that the registration venue is too far from their location while 22.4% are clueless about the ongoing registration. Only 13.3% said that they don’t want to register and don’t intend to vote.

About the Respondents

Majority of the respondents (90.8%) are legal OFW. The remaining 6.1% are undocumented OFWs and 3.1% are Filipinos with permanent residency status in their host country.

To help Filipinos abroad who want to register here are some basic FAQs about the OAV:

Who can register as Overseas Absentee Voters?

  • All Filipino citizens abroad who are at least 18 years old on 14 May 2013, and who are not otherwise disqualified by law;

  • Those who have reacquired or retained their Philippine citizenship under R.A. 9225 and other Filipino citizens with dual citizenship;

  • Immigrants or permanent residents of other countries who are recognized as such in their host countries.

Where and how can one register for OAV? Is personal appearance at the PH Embassy required?

  • A registrant needs to have their biometrics captured so personal appearance is required in the venue where the registration will be done, which can be at the Philippine Embassy/Consulate General or any identified registration site.

What requirements should one present to be an Overseas Absentee Voter?

  • Valid Philippine passport or a certificate from the DFA issued through the Philippine Embassy/Consulate General, declaring either of the following;

    1. that one have submitted document that will warrant the issuance of a passport 
    2. or one is a valid passport holder but unable to produce it for valid reasons.
  • Accomplished OAV Form No. 1 that is available at the Philippine Embassy/Consulate General or mobile registration site at the time of registration.

The form can also be downloaded in the following sites: 
Department of Foreign Affairs
Philippine Embassy / Consulate General

·         For seafarers, an additional requirement is a photocopy of their Seaman’s Book or any other document to prove that they are a seafarer.


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