Online poll registration rolled out for overseas Pinoys in Asia Pacific nations

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in collaboration with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), has rolled out the iRehistro, an online system that provides another way of accomplishing forms for voter registration related process, for Filipinos working or residing in Asia Pacific countries.

File photo shows Filipinos in Milan, Italy using the iRehistro system
File photo shows Filipinos in Milan, Italy using the iRehistro system

The online registration system will be implemented by the following Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) in the Asia Pacific region: Philippine Embassies in Bangkok, Brunei, Canberra, Dhaka, Dili, Hanoi, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Singapore, Vientiane, Wellington, Yangon, including the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, Macau, Osaka and Sydney.

Prospective applicants still have to appear personally at Foreign Service Posts or mobile/field registration sites, to sign and submit their duly accomplished printed form, and for biometrics capturing. In addition, the processed applications still have to be approved by the Resident Election Registration Board (RERB).

Comelec commissioner Al A. Parre?o, who conceptualized and is in charge of the poll agency?s implementation of iRehistro, offered the technology to the Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) last September 2014.

As a result, a pilot project was initiated with the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, Spain in November 2014, and was successfully concluded in January 2015.

Based on the Philippine Embassy in Madrid?s recommendation, with a favorable endorsement from DFA-OVS, the COMELEC approved the implementation of iRehistro for the entire Foreign Service. Regional training for Voter Registration Machine Operators in the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Americas region has just been successfully completed.

Overseas Filipinos in the Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa region now have the option of filling up the forms from the comfort of their homes, workplace, Internet caf?, or anywhere they have access to reliable internet connection.

The optional appointment feature of the system allows for better time management since it provides them an easy way to schedule their personal appearance at a FSP or Mobile/Field registration site.

FSPs can also benefit from iRehistro since the optional appointment system can accurately inform the post on how many registrants to expect on a given day, thus giving them a heads up on how to adjust for the walk-ins.

In addition, planning for outreach and Akyat Barko activities is made easier by the advance and relatively accurate head count. Efficiency is enhanced due to faster processing time resulting to potentially more registrants per day, with higher ?customer satisfaction?.

All Filipino citizens who expect to be in the Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa during the thirty day (April 09 to May 09) overseas voting period for the 2016 national elections, at least 18 years old on 09 May 2016, who would like to be among the first overseas Filipinos to become part of the Philippine overseas electoral process, may go to www.irehistro.com or www.comelec.gov.ph to access the iRehistro System to register as an overseas voter.

The voter registration period ends on October 31.

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