Migrante-Middle East (M-ME), a regional overseas Filipino workers group, today urges the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat (DFA-OAVS) to reconsider extending the registration of Overseas Absentee Voter (OAV), which deadline by end of October 2015.

“We understand that the OAV registration will be ending on October 31. However, there are more overseas Filipinos who have manifested their willingness to register so that they can vote for the May 2016 national elections,” said John Leonard Monterona, M-ME regional coordinator.

Monterona added that since OAV registration requires personal appearance, many overseas Filipinos in the Middle East and other regions face difficulties in reaching the Philippine diplomatic post due to work timings and financial constraints.

Though there are field mobile registrations scheduled, however, Monterona noted that mobile registrations outside the major cities should also be conducted to reach out the most numbers of Filipinos.

Last week, the COMELEC and DFA-OAVS announced the extension of the reactivation of deactivated overseas voters, those who have failed to vote during the previous two succeeding elections, until December 31.

“We welcome the COMELEC and DFA-OAVS decision to extend the reactivation period until December 31. But many OFs will be more than happy if the overseas voters’ registration will also be extended until the 2nd week of January 2016,” said Monterona, adding that Migrante chapters will be sending OAV extension letter request to COMELEC and PH diplomatic posts.

Monterona said all Migrante chapters, allies and networks of OFW groups were in full mobilization in reaching out fellow OFWs urging them to register especially the remaining Fridays of October 2015.

As of September 2015, as per COMELEC-DFA-OAVS statistical report on the number of Overseas Voters there are 1,103,809 total numbers of registered voters.

Middle East and North Africa registered voters 475,729, Asia Pacific 278,060, North and Latin America with 222,661, and Europe with 127,359.

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