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Overseas voter registration extended until Oct 14

29 September 2021

By The SUN 

The lucky ones who finally got into the Consulate's public hall after queuing for hours

The Philippines’ Commission on Elections has allowed overseas voter registration to be extended until Oct. 14, while nationwide, the registration will resume on Oct 11 and last until Oct 30, except during the weekend.

The last-minute reprieve came as hundreds of Filipinos continued to pour into the Consulate offices at United Centre in Admiralty today, Sept 29, which should have been the penultimate day for registering to vote in next year’s presidential election.

The original deadline for voter registration in the country and in all overseas posts was Sept. 30.

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People who had lined up for as long as five hours today to get to the final stage of filling out forms in the public area of the Consulate all said there should be an extension, as many Filipino workers who have yet to register can only take a day off on Sunday.

On Sept 26, which should have been the last Sunday for OVR under the old schedule, more than 900, or twice people had queued up way past midnight just to beat the deadline.


There should have been more, but stressed-out Consulate officers and staff set a cut-off time of 4pm for those already inside the United Centre building. Despite this, the list-up continued until the wee hours, to accommodate all those who were already inside the Consulate.

The line extends all the way to the bridge connecting United Centre to nearby buildings

Consul General Raly Tejada said the voters’ determination to stay put until they could register had inspired OVR lead, Consul Robert Quintin, and other Consulate staff, to keep working.

Nang tinanong ko po kung nahirapan sila, ang sabi po ni Consul Bob ay OK lang daw po at actually na-inspire siya sampu ng aming OV team sa determinasyon ng ating mga kababayan na makapagrehistro,” ConGen Tejada said.

(When I asked them if they found the work difficult, Consul Bob said it’s just OK because actually, he and the rest of the OV team were inspired by the determination of our fellow Filipinos to get themselves registered).


With the extension, Filipinos overseas will now have two more Sundays to register during the Consulate’s office hours, which are 9am to 4pm. As before, those who meet the cut-off time will all be registered, no matter how long it takes.

If the old schedule is followed during the extended period, Saturday registration will likewise continue, even if the Consulate is closed for other services on this day.

This means, the Consulate will remain open for registration from Saturday until Thursday for the next two weeks, except on Fridays. However, Oct 14 is a public holiday, which means the Consulate should be closed as well.


Pag-usapan po muna naming ang logistics before we make any announcements,” said ConGen Tejada. (We’ll discuss the logistics first before we make any announcements).

Consul Quintin's workload is much heavier than usual because of the OVR

Meanwhile, Consul Quintin is asking those who have registered previously to check if their names are not in the de-activated list of voters which can be found on the Consulate’s Facebook page.

He said about 16,000 names had been stricken off the list of voters, either for failing to vote in two consecutive elections, or for having a double registration.

As far as he knew, only a few people who were included in this list had showed up to apply for reactivation of their registration, he said.

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Quintin said that the certified list of overseas voters (CLOV) could also be checked, but it is not an accurate record of those who could vote in the 2022 election because it was compiled before the last national election in 2019.

“After the 2019 election, the deactivated list was drawn up, so it should be a better reference for those who are in doubt about the status of their registration,” said Quintin. “If they have been omitted by mistake, we will rectify the error.”

But at the same time, he said those who had registered previously should check both records first before queuing up for hours just to find out if they are still in the voters’ list in Hong Kong.

Comelec’s decision to extend voter registration was unanimously approved during an en banc meeting this morning.

"Extension is from October 11 to 30; Monday-Friday, no Saturdays, except for the last day (October 30), 8 am to 5 pm. All registration services offered," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said after the meeting.

The poll body said no voter registration will be conducted from Oct 1 to 10 so that election personnel could concentrate on attending to the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC).

There are 2 more Sundays left for OVR after the extension

Since the filing of COCs is not an issue for overseas voting, the extension of voter registration abroad could start immediately.

Comelec hedged until the last minute on extending voter registration, saying it could allow only a one-week extension at most, citing a tight deadline for its administrative preparations which are dependent on the final number of voters.

But it was forced to give in after legislators in both the House of Representatives and the Senate fast-tracked a bill that allows the extension, and would have submitted it to President Rodrigo Duterte for approval by tomorrow.

For good measure, senators deferred action on Comelec’s proposed 2022 budget, forcing the electoral body to capitulate.


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