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COMELEC News, News, Overseas Absentee Voting, Resources

Civil society groups issue ‘final call’ for OFWs to register

Civil Society Organizations under the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) Summit Group, has called on all eligible Filipinos overseas to register as absentee voters so they may be able to vote in the May 13, 2013 Senatorial and party-List elections.

The OAV Summit Group, composed of the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW); Migrant NGO Forum; Filipino Migrant Workers Group; Ople Policy Institue and Training Center; Center for Migrant Advocacy and the ICOFVR-Hong Kong, also pledged to “work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Commission on Elections as well as all stakeholders to boost overseas voting registration in time for the 2013 national elections.”

“For the remaining weeks until October 31, the actual deadline for Overseas Absentee Registration, we enjoin all overseas Filipinos whether land-based or sea-based, temporary workers or permanent residents, to register and avail of their right to vote,” the group said in a statement.

According to the DFA, we have more than 249,391 new OAV registrants. When added to the stock total of 589,830 from the 2010 elections, the overall number of OAV registrants now reaches to a total of 839,221.

The OAV Summit Group maintains that this number “represents a potent source of votes particularly in a tight Senate and Party-List race.”

“But we can and shall do better,” it added.

“We believe that the right of every overseas worker to register and vote is sacred, and all efforts must be undertaken to facilitate a more inclusive and convenient process of registration and voting given the physical and financial hurdles that an OFW must face to be able to go to the nearest embassy or consulate in order to exercise his or her right of suffrage.” ###

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The COMELEC is the sole government agency Constitutionally charged with the implementation of all election laws and the administration of all elections, plebiscites, referenda, and recalls.

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