Home PHL News House Approves E-Registration and Voting Bill for Overseas Filipinos

House Approves E-Registration and Voting Bill for Overseas Filipinos

House of Representatives

MANILA – The Senate now holds the future of a pivotal piece of legislation aimed at revolutionizing the voting process for Filipinos abroad, following a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez announced on Thursday that the House had passed House Bill (HB) 10178 with a resounding 188-0 vote. The bill seeks to amend the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2023, making voter registration and voting more accessible for Filipinos living overseas.

“The bill aims to make voter registration and voting easier and more accessible for Filipinos overseas so that we can ensure the efficient exercise of their constitutional right to suffrage,” Romualdez stated.

Under the proposed legislation, overseas voters would be able to register, certify, and transfer their registration through mail or electronic means, utilizing web-based portals and other internet-based technologies. This initiative is designed to streamline the voting process, ensuring that more overseas Filipinos can participate in elections.

Romualdez emphasized that the bill also includes provisions for electronic voting as an alternative to the traditional in-person and mail-in voting methods. This move is expected to significantly enhance voter turnout among Filipinos abroad by providing more convenient and flexible options.

Additionally, HB 10178 proposes the elimination of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee’s authority to approve mail-in voting in overseas territories after review. This change is intended to simplify the voting process and reduce bureaucratic delays.

The bill also aims to expand the list of prohibited acts under the law to include the theft, concealment, alteration, destruction, mutilation, manipulation, and tampering of electronic data or information related to the voting process. These measures are designed to protect the integrity and security of electronic voting data.

As the Senate prepares to deliberate on HB 10178, the eyes of millions of overseas Filipinos are on the legislative body, hoping for a swift passage that will bring them closer to exercising their democratic rights with ease and security.