12 May 2015 - The Department of Foreign Affairs - Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) announced that effective May 08, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in collaboration with the DFA-OVS has rolled out iREHISTRO for implementation by the following Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) in the Middle East and Africa: Philippine Embassies in Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Doha, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Nairobi, Pretoria, Riyadh, Tehran plus the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and Jeddah. On May 05, FSPs in Europe and Israel rolled out the iREHISTRO system for overseas Filipinos in their respective areas.
iREHISTRO is an online system that provides another way of accomplishing forms for voter registration related process. Prospective applicants still have to appear personally at Foreign Service Posts or Mobile/Field registration sites, to sign and submit their duly accomplished printed form, and for biometrics capturing. In addition, the processed applications still have to be approved by the Resident Election Registration Board (RERB).
Commissioner Al A. Parreño, who conceptualized and is in charge of the COMELEC’s implementation of iRehistro, offered the technology to the Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) last September 2014. As a result, a pilot project was initiated with the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, Spain, in November 2014, and was successfully concluded in January 2015.
Based on the Philippine Embassy in Madrid’s recommendation, with a favourable endorsement from DFA-OVS, the COMELEC approved the implementation of iREHISTRO for all Foreign Service Posts. Regional training for Voter Registration Machine Operators in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Americas region has just been successfully completed. Roll-out of iREHISTRO for the Americas region is imminent. Training and rollout for FSPs in the Asia Pacific region is being planned for the end of this month.
Overseas Filipinos in the Middle East and Africa now have the option of filling up the forms from the comfort of their homes, workplace, internet café, or anywhere they have access to reliable internet connection. The optional appointment feature of the system allows for better time management since it provides them an easy way to schedule their personal appearance at a FSP or Mobile/Field registration site.
FSPs also benefit from iREHISTRO. The optional appointment system if and when used can accurately inform the Post on how many registrants to expect on a given day, thus giving them a heads up on how to adjust for the walk-ins. In addition, planning for outreach and Akyat Barko activities is made easier by the advance relatively accurate head count. Efficiency is enhanced because of the faster processing time resulting to potentially more registrants per day, with higher “customer satisfaction”.
All Filipino citizens who expect to be in Europe, Middle East and Africa during the thirty day (April 09 to May 09) overseas voting period for the 2016 Presidential Elections, at least 18 years old on May 09, not otherwise disqualified by law and who would like to be among the first overseas Filipinos to become part of this historical evolution of the Philippine overseas electoral process, may now go to www.irehistro.com or www.comelec.gov.ph to access the iREHISTRO System to register as an overseas voter. The voter registration period ends on October 31. END