Did you know that among the 162 different nationalities represented in the diverse foreigner population of Osaka prefecture, there are seven countries that collectively make up nearly 90% of the total? Among these nations, the Philippines stands out as a significant contributor, representing 3.4% of the foreign community. This remarkable statistic highlights the presence of a vibrant overseas Filipino community in Japan and the significance of overseas voter registration, particularly in areas like Osaka.
With this in mind, let us delve into the crucial topic of Overseas Voter Registration for Filipinos in Osaka, Japan, shedding light on the importance of this process and its impact on the Filipino diaspora’s engagement in their homeland’s democratic processes. Let’s begin!
In anticipation of the forthcoming national elections, the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka has been actively engaging with the Filipino community in Japan.
A significant recent development was the convening of the Resident Election Registration Board (RERB) on 17 July 2023, held at the prestigious Twin 21 MID Tower in Osaka.
This event served as a crucial step in the preparation for the next national elections and provided an opportunity for Filipinos residing in Osaka to register as overseas voters.
The PCG’s commitment to ensuring the participation of Filipinos in the democratic processes of their homeland was evident in the meticulous planning and execution of this event, emphasizing the importance of civic engagement and the rights of overseas Filipinos to have a voice in shaping the future of their country.
Philippine (Midterm) Election – May 13, 2025
The upcoming May 2025 Philippine Senate election is a significant milestone in the nation’s democratic journey, marking the 35th iteration of this crucial event.
Set to take place on May 13, 2025 (with a window for overseas voters from April 13, 2025, to May 12, 2025), this election holds immense importance as it will determine the fate of the 12 senators originally elected in 2019.
These senators will wield substantial influence in shaping the country’s legislative course until June 30, 2031.
Their collaboration with the senators elected in 2022, who will serve until June 30, 2028, will form the core of the Senate’s representation in the 20th Congress of the Philippines.
This election is part of a broader political landscape, running concurrently with critical elections for the House of Representatives and local officials beyond the barangay level.
Overseas voter registration for this historic event spanned from December 9, 2022, to September 30, 2024, ensuring the active participation of Filipinos worldwide in influencing the destiny of their beloved nation.
Qualifications / Eligibility
- Filipino Citizenship:
- To participate in the May 2025 Philippine Senate Election, you must be a Filipino citizen, either by birth or through naturalization.
- Residency Status:
- You should either currently reside abroad or have plans to be abroad during the 30-day voting period. For the upcoming election, this period is from April 13, 2025, to May 12, 2025.
- Age Requirement:
- You must be at least 18 years old on May 12, 2025, which is the day of the election.
- No Disqualifications:
- You must not be otherwise disqualified by the laws governing voter eligibility in the Philippines.
Who Are Disqualified?
Certain conditions may disqualify you from participating in overseas elections. Here are the disqualifications you should be aware of:
- Loss of Filipino Citizenship:
- If you have lost your Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws, you are disqualified from voting.
- Pledged Allegiance to a Foreign Country:
- Individuals who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship or pledged their allegiance to a foreign country, with the exception of dual citizens as defined under Republic Act 9225, are disqualified.
- Criminal Conviction:
- Those who have been convicted by a court or tribunal with a final judgment for an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one year are disqualified. However, this disqualification can be removed through plenary pardon or amnesty. If you are disqualified under this subsection, you can regain the right to vote after five (5) years following the completion of your sentence.
- Declared Insane or Incompetent:
- Any citizen of the Philippines residing abroad who has been previously declared insane or incompetent by a competent authority in the Philippines or abroad, as verified by Philippine Embassy, consulates, or Foreign Service establishments concerned, is disqualified. This disqualification can be lifted if the competent authority subsequently certifies that you are no longer insane or incompetent.
By adhering to these qualifications and avoiding the disqualifications mentioned above, you can ensure that your voice is heard in the May 2025 Philippine Senate election.
Your participation will contribute to the democratic process and help shape the future of the Philippines.
Make sure to verify your eligibility and register to vote within the specified time frame to exercise your right to choose your representatives.
- Original and Photocopy of Valid Philippine Passport:
- Ensure that your Philippine passport is current and valid.
- Make a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport for submission.
- In the Absence of a Valid Passport:
- If you do not possess a valid passport, obtain a certification from the foreign service post.
- This certification should confirm that the foreign service post has reviewed your documents and found them sufficient to warrant a passport issuance.
- Alternatively, it should state that you are a valid passport holder but cannot produce it for a valid reason.
- For Seafarers:
- If you work as a seafarer, include a photocopy of your Seaman’s Book or any other relevant document that proves your seafaring status. This should be submitted in addition to the passport or certification mentioned in points 1 and 2.
- Dual Citizens:
- If you hold dual citizenship, submit your Dual Citizenship certificate or the Order of Approval (both original and photocopy) along with the documents from points 1 or 2.
- Personal Appearance:
- In most cases, personal appearance is required to capture your biometrics. This step ensures the accuracy and security of the registration process.
- Duly Filled Out OVF 1 Form:
- Complete the Overseas Voting Form 1 (OVF 1). You can find the form on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) website.
- Registered overseas voters with complete biometric data may also utilize the Office for Overseas Voting’s (OFOV) Virtual Frontline Services (VFS) for certain types of applications.
Transfer of Registration:
- If you need to transfer your registration from your overseas post to a Philippine Municipality, City, or District, you should file your application at the local Office of the Election Officer in the area where you intend to vote in the Philippines. Be sure to adhere to the rules and regulations governing local voter registration for this process.
By following these requirements and guidelines, you can ensure that your overseas voter registration is complete and accurate, allowing you to participate in the upcoming elections and make your voice heard in the democratic process. Your active participation is vital in shaping the future of the Philippines.
How to Register Online for Overseas Voting
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Documents Before you begin the online registration process for overseas voting, make sure you have the following documents ready:
- Valid Philippine Passport: Ensure that your Philippine passport is up-to-date and valid.
- Dual Citizenship Documents (if applicable): If you are a dual citizen, have your dual citizenship documents prepared.
- Seaman’s Book (for Seafarers): Seafarers should have their Seaman’s Book ready for the registration process.
Step 2: Fill Out the Application Form Follow these steps to fill out the online application form for overseas voting:
- Visit the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) website. They provide an online application form called iRehistro for Overseas Voters Version 188.8.131.52.
- On the website, accurately complete the required information as prompted. Ensure that all details are correct, as this information will be used for your voter registration.
- After successfully filling out the form, the system will generate the OVF1 form. This form includes a QR code for verification purposes.
Step 3: Submit the Application Form Once you have generated the OVF1 form, follow these steps to submit your application:
- Save the OVF1 form as a PDF file on your device for printing.
- Print the OVF1 form on an A4-sized sheet of paper. This printout serves as your official OVF1 form.
- Personally submit the printed OVF1 form to the nearest Overseas Voting (OV) registration site. This step is crucial to process your voter registration application.
Important Information: This registration process is mandated by the Philippine Overseas Voting Act, overseen by the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV), and governed by R.A. 9189 (amended by R.A. 10590).
As an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), this process allows you to cast your vote from your host country, ensuring that your voice is heard in your homeland’s democratic elections.
How to Register at the Philippine Embassy in Osaka
Step 1: Gather Required Documents
Before embarking on the overseas voter registration process, ensure that you have the necessary documents in hand. These include:
- Valid Philippine Passport: Your valid Philippine passport is the primary identification document required for registration. Make sure it is up-to-date and readily available during the registration process.
- Alternative Documents: In case you do not possess a valid passport, you can provide one of the following alternative documents:
- A certification issued by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate General confirming the reception and review of your documents, which are found sufficient for passport issuance. Alternatively, this certification can state that you possess a valid passport but cannot produce it for a valid reason.
- For individuals who have reacquired Filipino Citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225, you will need the original or certified true copy of the Order of Approval of your application to retain or reacquire Filipino citizenship issued by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate or your Identification Certificates issued by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate or the Bureau of Immigration.
- Seafarers should provide a photocopy of their Seafarer’s Book.
Step 2: Complete the Overseas Voter Registration Form (OVF1)
Proceed to obtain an Overseas Voter Registration Form (OVF1) either from the designated registration center or online. Ensure that you fill out the form accurately and completely.
Step 3: Schedule an Appointment
If you intend to register at the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka, you may need to schedule an appointment for Overseas Voter registration. This can be conveniently done by visiting the official appointment scheduling website here.
Step 4: Submit Your Application
It’s time to personally submit your completed Overseas Voter Registration Form (OVF1) along with the required documents to the designated registration center. Before submission, double-check that all your documents are in order and that your form is correctly filled out.
Step 5: Registration Period
Bear in mind that the registration period for the May 2025 Philippine Senate Election spans from December 9, 2022, to September 30, 2024. To ensure your eligibility to vote, make sure to register within this specified timeframe.
Step 6: Verification
After submitting your application, the authorities will meticulously review your documents and information to confirm your eligibility for overseas voting.
Step 7: Await Confirmation
Once your application undergoes processing and verification, you will receive official confirmation of your successful registration as an overseas voter. This final step marks your readiness to participate in the democratic process by casting your vote in the upcoming election.
Philippine Consulate General in Osaka, Japan
Address: Twin 21 MID Tower 24F, 2-1-61 Shiromi Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan 540-6124
Contact number: 06-6910-7881
Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PHinOsaka