INTERNET REGISTRATION (VRR) FORMS FOR OVERSEAS PINOY VOTERSManila, May 26, 2003 -- To save on courier costs, the Commission on Elections will make available through the Internet voter registration (VRR) forms to Filipinos abroad. Comelec Commissioner Florentino Tuason said yesterday this would enable the Comelec to save about P340 million in shipping costs. Tuason said once Filipino registrants abroad download and print the VRRs, they can file thesein embassies or consular offices to complete the registration process. Registration for overseas Filipinos wanting to take part in the Comelec's absentee voting scheme may register from July 1 to Sept. 30. Tuason said the VRR forms will be uploaded in the Comelec website (www.comelec.gov.ph) next month. National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections Jose Concepcion said he finds nothing questionable with the plan to make VRRs available online. "VRRs are not accountable forms, unlike ballots or election returns so there is nothing wrong about making it available online, especially if the Comelec is running out of time and money," he said. Tuason said apart from the online VRRs, the Comelec will have the winning bidder in Comelec voter validation project French firm Sagem which put up 250 photograph and biometrics capturing stations in 82 countries worldwide for the 7 million Filipinos abroad who want to register. He added the Comelec office in Manila would also have two voter validation stations which will receive the electronically transmitted registration data from abroad. He also said Filipinos who are in the Philippines during the registration period but who would be abroad during the May 10, 2004 elections can register with Comelec field offices. Seafarers can get their registration forms from the consulate or embassy where their vessels are docked at the time of registration.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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