Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Filipino immigrants may soon be allowed to participate in electoral exercises in the country via the Internet. The proposal was raised during a hearing of the joint House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Suffrage and Electoral Reforms on the proposed amendments to the Overseas Absentee Voting law or Republic Act 9189.
Appearing before the House bodies, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Armando Velasco said Internet voting will be a convenient system for OFWs and other migrants Filipinos.
Velasco said like the majority of the congressmen, he also favors Internet voting as a remedial solution but “it should be studied further particularly the security aspect.”
According to Velasco, there is a need to amend RA 9189 that provides only for the use of personal voting in Philippine embassies and consulates or the postal voting.
“If Congress passes the Internet voting amendment, overseas Filipino voters can vote while they are at home or in the office,” Velasco said.
Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro), who supported the proposal for Internet voting, said the proposed amendment to the law may increase the number of OFWs who will participate in the national elections in the future.
“OFWs should be allowed to vote via Internet. That is what we should do now instead of using the regular mailing system,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez urged the Commission on Election’s (COMELEC) to consider the proposal in the conduct of overseas absentee voting saying “the technology is being used worldwide.”