More overseas Filipinos sign up to vote in 2013 polls

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - More than 200,000 overseas Filipinos have signed up for overseas absentee voting (OAV) as the Department of Foreign Affairs stepped up its campaign to encourage up to a million Filipino migrants to register ahead of next year's midterm elections.

The DFA said total OAV registration has reached the 800,000 mark as Philippine missions all over the world posted 212,009 new registrants this month. This is in addition to the more than 580,000 individuals already in the OAV list.

The climb in figures "indicates that the target one million registered voters for the upcoming 2013 senatorial and party-list elections is about to be realized," the DFA said in a statement yesterday.

Of the new registrants, some 36,391 came from the Middle East and Africa; 31,785 from the Americas; 21,959 from Europe, and 20,035 from the Asia Pacific.

A total 101,839, meanwhile, registered in local OAV registration centers before leaving the Philippines, including desks at the airport, overseas employment and welfare offices, and DFA OAV centers.

The DFA said its diplomatic posts around the world have stepped up efforts to encourage wider participation in the OAV through online campaigns and touching base with Filipino communities abroad.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has also sent letters to some 4,000 Filipino community leaders around the world to seek support for the OAV.

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