Did you know that in 2015, the Filipino community in South Korea numbered around 63,000 people? This vibrant and diverse community plays a significant role in the cultural tapestry of South Korea. One crucial aspect of their engagement with both their home country and their host nation is Overseas Voter Registration.
That being said, let us explore the importance of Overseas Voter Registration for Filipinos living in South Korea and how it empowers them to actively participate in the democratic process, even while residing far from the Philippines. Keep on reading.
The Philippine Embassy in South Korea has been diligently preparing for the upcoming elections with a strong commitment to ensuring that Filipino overseas voters have the opportunity to participate in the democratic process.
Building upon their recent successes, such as the Overseas Voter Field Registration activities in Daegu Metropolitan City and Gumi City, they have demonstrated their dedication to this cause.
These initiatives, which saw the registration of at least 147 Filipino overseas voters in Daegu Metropolitan City and 141 in Gumi City, exceeded the Embassy’s monthly targets.
Their collaborative efforts with Filipino Community Organizations, including the Kapit Bisig Organization (KBO), Abe-Abe Capampangan Organization (Abe-Abe), Cordillera Migrants’ Association in Daegu (CMAD), Korean Filipino Community (KFC) Daegu, Confederation of Ilocano Associations – Samahang Ilocano (CIASI), Filipino Migrant Workers Association in Gumi (FMWAK), and the Waegwan Filipino Community (WFC), have been instrumental in achieving these results.
In recognition of the invaluable support received, the Embassy awarded certificates to volunteers and Korean institutions that played a vital role in making these field registration activities possible.
Furthermore, the Embassy provided informational services in collaboration with representatives from MWO, OWWA, Pag-IBIG, and the Department of Tourism.
With a clear focus on expanding these partnerships and bringing overseas voter registration closer to more Filipino nationals residing outside Seoul Metropolitan City, the Embassy aims to continue these efforts until the end of the overseas voter registration on 30 September 2024.
Philippine (Midterm) Election – May 13, 2025
The upcoming Philippine Senate election, set to take place on May 13, 2025 (April 13, 2025, to May 12, 2025, for overseas voters), holds immense historical importance.
This election occurs once every six years, and the upcoming one is the 35th in its series.
What’s capturing everyone’s attention is the opportunity to fill 12 senatorial positions, last contested in 2019.
People are eagerly awaiting the candidates who will step up for these crucial roles.
The senators elected in this pivotal election will serve until June 30, 2031, working alongside the senators chosen in 2022, who will hold office until June 30, 2028.
Together, they will compose the Senate for the 20th Congress of the Philippines.
Interestingly, this election aligns with other critical elections, including those for the House of Representatives and local officials above the barangay level.
All of these components emphasize the potential of this election to significantly influence the political landscape of the Philippines.
This momentous event is just around the corner, and citizens are eagerly preparing to cast their votes for the candidates who will shape their nation’s future.
Qualifications / Eligibility
- Citizenship Requirement: To participate in the upcoming May 2025 Philippine Senate Election, you must be a Filipino citizen, whether by birth or through legal processes. This rule is crucial as it ensures that those who genuinely care about the Philippines’ future have the privilege to be part of the voting process and have their voices heard.
- Residential Qualification: Your current living situation is of utmost importance. You should either be residing abroad or have definite plans to be overseas during the 30-day voting period, which spans from April 13, 2025, to May 12, 2025.
- Age Requirement: Make sure you meet the age criteria. You must be at least 18 years old on May 12, 2025, which is Election Day. This ensures that only adults have the opportunity to be part of the voting population.
- Disqualifications to Be Aware Of: It’s essential to confirm that you are not disqualified according to Philippine laws governing voting eligibility. Here are some reasons that might disqualify you:
- Loss of Filipino Citizenship: If you lost your Filipino citizenship as per Philippine laws, you are ineligible to vote. Ensure you are aware of your current citizenship status before attempting to vote.
- Pledging Loyalty to Another Country: If you have publicly renounced your Filipino citizenship or sworn allegiance to another country (except if you have dual citizenship under Republic Act 9225), you cannot vote. However, having dual citizenship allows you to exercise your voting rights.
- Criminal Conviction: If you have been convicted of a crime that could result in at least one year of imprisonment, you are disqualified from voting. However, this disqualification can be lifted if you receive a full pardon or amnesty. If you fall into this category, you can start voting again five years after completing your sentence.
- Declared as Insane or Incompetent: Any Filipino living abroad who has previously been declared insane or incompetent by a qualified authority in the Philippines or abroad, as confirmed by the Philippine Embassy, consulates, or Foreign Service offices, cannot vote. However, this disqualification can be overturned if the qualified authority later certifies that you are sane or competent.
By understanding these eligibility requirements, you can ensure that you meet all the prerequisites for participating in the May 2025 Philippine Senate Election.
Your vote serves as your means of influencing the future of your homeland, and every eligible Filipino residing abroad plays a pivotal role in this democratic process. Your participation holds significant sway in shaping the destiny of your nation. Make your voice count!
- Verify Your Passport: To kickstart the process, it’s essential to double-check if your Philippine passport is still valid. This is a crucial requirement for participating in the voting process. Additionally, make photocopies of the vital pages from your passport that you’ll need to submit.
- Obtain a Passport If Needed: If you find that your passport is no longer valid, there’s no need to worry. Simply visit the nearest foreign service post, and they will assist you through the certification process. They will either validate your documents for passport issuance or provide guidance if you encounter any issues.
- For Seafarers: If you’re working at sea, remember to include a photocopy of your Seaman’s Book or any evidence that confirms your seafaring status along with your passport or certification.
- Dual Citizenship: For those with dual citizenship, be sure to submit your Dual Citizenship certificate or Order of Approval (both the original and a copy) alongside the documents mentioned in steps 1 or 2.
- Personal Appearance: In most instances, you will be required to make a personal visit for biometric recording. This step is in place to ensure the utmost security and accuracy.
- Complete the Voting Form: Fill out Overseas Voting Form 1 (OVF 1), which can be found on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) website. If you have previously registered with complete biometric data, consider using the Office for Overseas Voting’s (OFOV) Virtual Frontline Services (VFS) for specific applications.
- Transfer of Registration: If you intend to relocate your registration from your overseas post to a Philippine Municipality, City, or District, simply apply at the local Office of the Election Officer in your desired voting area. Just adhere to the local voter registration guidelines.
By diligently following these steps, you will be well-prepared to participate in the democratic process, regardless of your location in the world. Your voice holds immense value, and registering as an overseas voter empowers you to contribute to the future of the Philippines. Don’t let this opportunity slip by! Remember, every single vote makes a significant impact.
How to Register at the Philippine Embassy in South Korea
Step 1: Gather Your Required Documents
To begin your overseas voter registration process, make sure you have all the essential documents ready:
- Your Valid Philippine Passport: Your current Philippine passport is your main identification document during registration. Keep it readily accessible throughout the registration process.
- Alternatives for Those Without a Passport: If you don’t possess a valid passport, you have alternative options:
- A certificate issued by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate General that explains your passport status.
- If you’ve reclaimed Filipino Citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225, you’ll need the original or a certified true copy of the Order of Approval or Identification Certificates.
- Seafarers should remember to include a photocopy of their Seafarer’s Book.
Step 2: Complete the Overseas Voter Registration Form (OVF1)
You can obtain the Overseas Voter Registration Form (OVF1) either from your local registration center or online. Carefully fill in all the required fields on the form.
Step 3: Submit Your Application
Take your completed Overseas Voter Registration Form (OVF1) and the necessary documents to the designated registration center in person. Double-check that everything is in order before submitting your application.
Step 4: Registration Period
Please note that for the May 2025 Philippine Senate Election, the registration period runs from December 9, 2022, to September 30, 2024. Make sure to register within this timeframe to secure your ability to cast your vote.
Step 5: Document Verification
Following the submission of your application, authorities will review your documents and information to confirm your eligibility for overseas voting.
Step 6: Awaiting Approval
Once your application goes through processing and verification, you will receive official confirmation of your successful registration as an overseas voter. This confirmation grants you access to participate in the upcoming election.
By diligently following these steps, you can actively engage in the democratic process in the Philippines, even while residing in South Korea. Remember, your vote holds the power to shape the future of your homeland, no matter the physical distance. Mark your calendars and be an integral part of the upcoming election – every vote counts and makes a difference!
Video: COMELEC Commissioner Ma. Rowena V. Guanzon’s Message on Overseas Voting
Watch this informative video clip from 2022, featuring a special message from COMELEC Commissioner Ma. Rowena V. Guanzon. She addresses overseas Filipinos, including those residing in South Korea. In the video, Commissioner Guanzon discusses the Overseas Voter Registration process taking place at Philippine Embassies and Consulates globally, all in anticipation of the Presidential Elections in May 2022. This video serves as a vital reminder for overseas Filipinos to exercise their right to vote and contribute to nation-building by actively participating in elections. It underscores the importance of their role in shaping the future of their homeland through the power of their votes. By watching this video, you’ll gain valuable insights into the significance of overseas Filipino voters in the democratic process.
Contact Information for the Philippine Embassy in South Korea
Address: 80 Hoenamu-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Telephone number: (+822) 788-2100,(+822) 788-2101
Office hours: Sunday to Thursday, 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PHinKorea/