Nearly 500 new Filipino overseas voters were registered at the Philippine Embassy in Doha last October 16, the highest ever recorded for one day of registration in the history of the embassy, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.
The embassy recorded on that day a total of 485 new registrants for overseas voting and another 34 applications for reactivation and/or transfer at the Embassy Chancery, surpassing the 442 who registered at the Inihaw Republic restaurant two weeks ago.
According to the embassy, the newest burst of registrants allowed it to breach the 15,000 mark, a thousand shy of its target for its overseas voters registration (OVR) drive for the 2016 national elections.
Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Wilfredo C. Santos encouraged Filipinos to take advantage of the embassy's openings on Fridays until the end of October to register as overseas voters for the 2016 polls.
“We encourage our kababayans in Qatar to join us in our collective effort to reach and even surpass our targets in this overseas voting registration drive,” Santos said.
With the total number of newly registered overseas voters recently breaching the 1.3 million mark, they are expected to dictate the outcome of the 2016 national elections, DFA Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis, who chairs the department's Overseas Voting Secretariat.
"Since overseas Filipinos are considered to be their family’s bread winners, it is not a stretch to surmise that each overseas Filipino can influence the vote of at least three family members," he said in a statement Monday.
"Thus, the 1.3 million active registered overseas voters are roughly equivalent to 5.2 million votes. This is a definite game changer for Philippine politics,” he added.
According to the DFA-OVS, there were 1,301,598 active registered overseas voters for the 2016 elections as of October 15. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News