“The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is keen on implementing internet voting for Filipinos overseas,” COMELEC Chairman George Erwin Garcia said during a roundtable interview with The Manila Times.
The commission wants overseas internet voting in place for the 2025 elections.
He said the COMELEC conducted a study and determined that there is no need for a law to implement a new mode of voting.
Under Section 28 of Republic Act No. 10590, the COMELEC “may explore other more efficient, reliable, and secure modes or systems, ensuring the secrecy and sanctity of the entire process, whether paper-based, electronic-based, or Internet-based technology or such other latest technology available.”
Voting via the internet seeks to increase overseas voter turnout. In the 2022 polls, only 34 percent of the 1.697 million Filipino voters abroad cast ballots, slightly higher than 31 percent in the 2019 polls.
“For the 2022 elections, COMELEC spent almost Php 418 million for overseas voting, which is regrettable, considering that the per capita is huge as against those who actually voted,” said Garcia.
He said internet voting would require a smaller budget. Using the internet, Filipino seafarers can vote even if they are in the middle of the sea. He said the agency has been poring over the internet-voting plan and preparing for the allocation of a budget as a matter of policy direction.