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The Philippine Center at 556 Fifth Avenue in New York City.  (FR photo)


MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will work double time to reach its target of registering some one million overseas absentee voters (OAV) for the 2013 midterm polls.

“Our drive is to reach one million. So we are working on it now,” said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes.

Comelec records showed that for the May 2010 polls there were 589,830 registered OAVs.

The figure went down to 347,453 after the poll body had de-listed those who failed to vote for two consecutive elections as required under the Omnibus Election Code.

The others were stricken off the lists for having double or multiple registrations and for filing withdrawal of registration.

On Wednesday, the poll body started accepting applications for registrations for OAV.

The agency had begun its training program for OAV registration last month through the Philippine post personnel in the Middle East.

Records also showed that of the 589,830 registered OAVs in 2010, only 153,323 actually managed to cast their votes.

At present, OAVs can vote in person or by e-mail voting.

Around 225,148 OAVs were in Middle East; 215,546 in Asia; 66,745 in the Americas; 61,294 in Europe; and 21,097 were seafarers.

The registration for OAV among Filipinos in the United States, including the Eastern Seaboard, for the 2013 Philippine senatorial and party list representative elections began Wednesday.

Applicants have one whole year until Oct. 31, 2012 to file forms for registration/certification and transfer of registration records, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except during regular and declared holidays in the Philippines and the U.S., at the consular section, of the Philippine Consulate on Fifth Avenue.

Filipinos in other parts of the U.S. may also visit their respective Philippine Consulate Generals.

Field and mobile registration will also be held in selected areas under the jurisdiction of specific Consulate Generals.

All Filipino citizens/dual citizens, not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election (May 13, 2013) are qualified to register.

Applicants need to personally appear at the Consulate and bring the original and photocopy of the following documents: valid Philippine passport for Filipino citizens; Seaman’s Book for seafarers, order of approval or certificate for identity or oath of allegiance for dual citizens without Philippine passports; and additional I.D. with photo and signature.

Application forms are available at the Consulate or may be downloaded from www.comelec.gov.ph/oav/2013_natl_local/downloadables/reg_forms.html

Overseas absentee voters with approved application to vote in absentia, may vote for senators and party-list representatives from April 13, 2013 until May 13, 2013.

For particulars, visit www.comelec.gov.ph or call the Philippine Consulate in New York at 212.764.1330.