The Philippine government is aiming for a higher voter turnout among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), but it has shunned internet and mobile phone voting in the 2016 presidential polls. The situation is likely to result in low participation among the one million registered overseas voters who represent 10 per cent of the country’s 10 million OFWs worldwide. “There is no explicit law that allows internet voting in 2016,” said Arthur Lim, head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office for overseas voting. The use of the internet and mobile phones is “being explored for future elections,” Lim said. He did not give details of what process was being carried out to make this modern approach a reality.
Despite the upgrading and automation of Philippine elections such as the use of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOC) that were sent to selected overseas posts earlier, “Comelec has remained open to the current personal voting system,” Lim said.
Hoping to increase overseas voter turnout despite this limitation, Comelec has decided to “bring the voting machines to stations outside the embassies where our overseas Filipino voters may conveniently go to vote,” Lim said.