The Department of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS), announced today 26 February 2015, that DFA-OVS and COMELEC just recently concluded the Training Course on Overseas Manual Voting, Counting and Canvassing for Purposes of the 2016 National Elections at the First Pacific Leadership Academy (FPLA) from 23-25 February 2016.

COMELEC in coordination with DFA-OVS conducted the three (3) day training for Officers and staff of the Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) and Manila Economic and Cultural Offices (MECOs) who will act as Special Board of Canvassers (SBOC), Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI)
and Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group (SBRCG) during the overseas voting election period from 09 April 2016 to 09 May 2016.

A total of one hundred thirty-eight (138) representatives from forty-eight (48) different Embassies and Consulate Generals and MECOs in Asia and the Pacific Region, Middle East and Africa Region, Americas Region and European Region attended and participated in the aforementioned activity which is a kick-off for a series of twelve (12) trainings on the Automated Election System (AES) that will be conducted for thirty FSPs.

The recently concluded overseas voter registration period (06 May 2014 –31 October 2015) for the 2016 National Elections netted a total of 826,880 new registered overseas voters. The figure is 107% over the previous registration period’s total of 398,108 new overseas registered
voters. As a result, after deactivating overseas voters (163,019) who have failed to vote in the last two consecutive elections and the filtering of double registrants, the 2016 national elections will have over 1.37 million overseas registered voters that are qualified to vote.

“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. This is the result of lessons learnedfrom the previous electoral cycles, consistent hard work of our Foreign Service Posts, and genuine interest of our kababayans 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,” Office of Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis, who is concurrently Chairman of DFA-OVS, said. “Since overseas Filipinos are considered to be their family’s bread winners, it is not a stretch to surmise that each overseas Filipino can influence the vote of at least three family members. Thus, the 1.3 million active registered overseas voters are roughly equivalent to 5.2 million votes. This is a definite game changer for Philippine politics,” explained DFA-OVS Chairman Rafael E. Seguis.

All registered overseas Filipino citizens who will be abroad during the thirty day overseas voting period (09 April – 09 May 2016) for the 2016 Presidential Elections may vote as an OVERSEAS VOTER. Kindly coordinate with the nearest Philippine Foreign Service Posts (FSPs), Manila Economic and Cultural Offices (MECO). For additional information please go to
www.dfa-oavs.gov.ph or www.comelec.gov.ph. The overseas voting period ends on 09 May 2016 (Philippine Time). VOTE IN 2016! END