Comelec moves ahead with plans for internet voting in the Philippines
Filipinos in the diaspora can now look forward to voting online in their national elections.
According to the Overseas Absentee Voting Act, 2003 (Republic Act 9189), and in the wake of upcoming elections, the Philippines is now in the process of assessing a number of internet voting technologies. Eight providers, including Derma, E-Corp, Tambuli Labs, Voatz, and Thales, have thus far demonstrated their offerings to local and overseas Filipinos.
According to the chair of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), internet voting will not only simplify the voting process, thereby increasing voter turnout rates for the diaspora, but he is optimistic that it will positively impact democracy and the economy. For instance, in 2022, the Philippines spent PHP 417 million to facilitate only 39% (600,000) of the voting-age population. The Chairman assures the population that internet voting will decrease this figure significantly.
Other stakeholders join in during the demonstrations and are expected to be involved at every stage to ensure that the resultant terms of reference (TOR) is fit for the Philippines context in terms of cybersecurity, sustainability, convenience, transparency, accuracy, inclusivity, audibility and value for money. The Commission also intends to continue its push for legislation in time for the 2025 elections to secure the possibility of Filipinos voting from anywhere in the world.