MANILA – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on 02 March 2022. This collaboration aims to establish several Registration Centers for Overseas Voters as part of the preparations for the May 2025 national and local elections.

The initiative will guarantee the continuous registration of qualified overseas Filipino voters from 09 December 2022 until 30 September 2024. With this partnership, the two organizations aim to ensure that every eligible Filipino voter can exercise their right to suffrage.

In a statement, MARINA Deputy Administrator for Operations Nannette V. Dinopol expressed her confidence in the collaboration, saying, “Consistent with the principle of leaving no one behind, the MARINA remains a strong partner of Comelec in promoting the continuing registration for qualified overseas Filipino seafarers through the Comelec-MARINA Registration Centers for Overseas Voters.”

“We definitely have one aim or hope in mind — that is, they [overseas voters] will be able to exercise their right to suffrage come the 2025 National and Local Elections wherever they may be or whatever seas their ships may sail, their votes will be counted,” she furthered.

The Registration Centers are expected to operate from the signing of the agreement until 30 September 2024, from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. By establishing these registration centers, MARINA and COMELEC aim to ensure that every Filipino, regardless of their location, can participate in the upcoming elections.

The MoA was signed by officials from both organizations, along with other government agencies such as the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).