How to Vote as a Seafarer in Philippine Elections

The Philippine National elections will take place in May 2022 and overseas voters are preparing for overseas absentee voting, which will take place from April 10 to May 9, 2022. This is also a requirement that every Filipino citizen must meet.

This article will go through some of the specifics of voting from abroad in the May 2022 elections as a Filipino seafarer. It is also intended to assist you in navigating the entire procedure.

Overseas voters, including seafarers, are preparing for the overseas absentee voting, which will take place from April 10 to May 9,2022.
Credits: DFA

2022 Elections: Guide to Overseas Absentee Voting Process for Pinoy Seaman, Seawoman, Mariners

Voting is straightforward if you live and work in the Philippines, but what if you’re a sailor who doesn’t have a permanent address? Is it still possible for you to use your voting rights? You can accomplish it without a doubt! You have the right to vote in your host nation as a documented sea-based overseas Filipino worker (OFW).

What Are The Requirements To Vote Overseas?

Once you have registered to vote overseas, you must have the following papers with you on Election Day (as stated by the Philippine mission/s in your host country):

  • Photocopy of Seaman’s Book (for seafarers).
  • Photocopy of Valid Passport;
  • Proof of Philippine Citizenship, such as a Visa, Resident Card, Notice of Action, Oath of Allegiance, etc.;
  • Receipt of your voter’s registration; and
  • A black ink pen

Step-by-Step Process on Overseas Voting

Overseas voters can cast their ballots in person or by mail. The voting period will last for 30 days.

In-person voting can be done at various locations, such as Philippine embassies and consulates.

The Special Board of Election Inspectors is responsible for the counting and voting procedures. Meanwhile, the Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group (SBRCG) distributes and secures the overseas voters’ ballots made via postal voting.

(Voting in Person using a vote count machine [VCM])

Step 1: Check to see whether your name is on the Certified List of Overseas Voters (CLOV), which will be released by the Philippine mission in your region at least 120 days before the election. After you have validated your name on the list of abroad absentee voters, you may begin preparing your paperwork for the Election period.

Step 2: Schedule a voting day at the Philippine diplomatic post (embassy or consulate), keeping in mind the time period they will welcome overseas voters on the premises.

Important: To ensure that health and safety measures are followed, check the website or social media sites of the Philippine foreign post you want to visit and comply with all the safety and health regulations they will observe come election time.

Step 3: On-site, you will be given a ballot, a secret folder, and a pen, like how voting is done in the Philippines. After you’ve gathered these, you may go to a voting booth and cast your ballot.

Step 4: Fill in the ovals with the names of the candidates and party lists for which you want to vote. The ballot will then be handed over to the Special Board of Elections Inspectors (SBIEs) and placed in the machine.

Step 5: After reading the ballot, the machine will generate a receipt, which the voter will then put in a designated box.

(Voting in Person – Manual)

Step 1: Make sure your name is on the Certified List of Overseas Voters (CLOV), which will be posted by the Philippine mission in your region at least 120 days before the election. After you have confirmed your record in the certified list of foreign voters, you may begin preparing the documentary requirements for the Election period.

Step 2: You must visit the Post Office or another voting venue designated by the Commission, and you must have a valid passport or ID. The overseas voter will go to the Electoral Board and submit his or her name and address.

Step 3: Before getting a ballot, the voter will sign and affix his or her thumbmark to the List of Abroad Voters with Voting Records (OVF No. 2-A), a certified list of abroad voters with their names and biometrics listed alphabetically.

Step 4: He or she will fill out the ballot in a ballot secrecy folder. After voting, the voter should fold the ballot in the same way in which it was received and return it to the Poll Clerk, who will place it in the ballot box.

* The poll body’s SBIEs will be in charge of overseeing the voting and counting of votes.

(Voting by Post)

Step 1: Alternatively, if you intend to vote by mail, which is another method of participating in international elections, expect to receive an envelope containing the Official Ballot, Certified List of Candidates, Instructions to Voters, Official Ballot Envelope, and Paper Seals via mail or personal delivery. You must complete this on your own and return the completed Official Ballot to the foreign Post using the envelope supplied, either by mail or personal delivery.

Step 2: After finishing the ballot, the voter must place it in the “Ballot Envelope” and seal it. They must ensure that the envelope does not arrive crumpled or damaged at the relevant embassy, consulate, or foreign institution.

Step 3: The voter should write his or her full name and sign it in the place marked on the “Ballot Envelope,” then seal it with a paper seal.

Step 4: They can either mail it or physically deliver it to the Post Office. To guarantee that the ballot gets at the Post Office on or before the deadline, it should be mailed as soon as feasible.

* In addition, the Commission may permit the use of field voting centers or mobile voting centers for a limited number of days.

(Voting for seafarers)

Seafarers may vote at any Post that employs personal voting or, in the case of postal voting, at any Post with international seaports that has been recognized and supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS).

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs about overseas voting for seafarers:

1. I was able to vote many years ago. How come my name is not in the CLOV?

If you did not vote in the past two (2) elections, your voter records will be destroyed, and your name will be removed from the CLOV. You can apply to have your records reactivated for the 2022 National Elections until the registration procedure concludes on September 30, 2021.

2. What should I do to check whether or not my application has been approved?

If your application has been approved, you can check it on a regular basis on the COMELEC ( or DFA-OVS ( websites. You can also get further information from your local embassy or consulate. They should be able to look up your information in the system and offer you with the support you require.

Otherwise, they may be able to supply you with the knowledge you require to cope with your issue. Coordination and fast action will be critical in these situations, so make sure you are well led.

3. How can I check if my application has been rejected?

The Resident Election Registration Board (RERB) of the FSPs or MECOs that heard your application will issue you a Notice of Disapproval via mail or other methods of communication.

Final Thoughts

The Philippine government has made overseas absentee voting (OAV) far more straightforward and accessible to Filipinos worldwide. You must now ensure that you have met all of the requirements, verify your registration status on their records, and prepare for the real voting day.

READ NEXT: List of Certified Overseas Filipino Voters Abroad

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