House OKs bill allowing e-registration, voting of Filipinos abroad

By Zaldy De Layola

May 16, 2024, 6:10 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

(PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The fate of the bill seeking to allow e-registration and voting among Filipinos abroad is now in the hands of the Senate, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said on Thursday.

This, after the lower chamber of Congress voted 188-0 to pass House Bill (HB) 10178 amending the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2023.

“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 said in a statement.

“The proposed legislation allows the registration, certification and transfer of registration of overseas voters by mail or by electronic means, including but not limited to web-based portals, and other internet-based technologies,” he said.

He added that once enacted into law, the measure would also authorize electronic voting as an option for overseas voting apart from in-person and mail-in.

HB 10178 also seeks to remove the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee's approving authority after review to allow voting by mail in an overseas territory.

It also expands the prohibited acts under the law to include theft, concealment, alteration, destruction, mutilation, manipulation, and tampering of electronic data or information. (PNA)