Monday, April 11, 2016

Pinoys abroad begin casting ballots in month-long OAV for 2016 polls

Filipinos abroad started casting their ballots on Saturday as the month-long overseas absentee voting (OAV) process for the 2016 polls began at various Philippine embassies around the world.
A total of 1,376,067 Filipinos have registered for the OAV, where voters can pick candidates for national positions—president, vice president and senators, as well as party-list groups. 
In Malaysia, voting began at 9 a.m., and that the Philippine Embassy there is expecting 80 percent of the 19,000 registered voters to participate in the polls this year..
Overseas Filipino voters may cast their ballots using the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs), personal manual voting, or postal manual voting system.
"We are happy and pleased with it. It was very easy to cast one's ballot compared to before,” Ambassador Jose Eduardo Malaya III said.
Malaya is one of the first-day voters in Malaysia. He encouraged every Filipino there to vote.
Meanwhile, in  Dubai, Philippine Consul Ferdinand Flores said there are more voters this year compared to the number in the 2013 elections.
The 11 VCMs used at the embassy worked perfectly well, Flores said.
On the other hand, only 50 of the 37,000 registered voters in Milan, Italy cast their ballots on the first day.
Among the first-day voters was the Philippine Consulate General in Milan, Consul General Marichu Mauro.
In France, only a  few turned up at the Philippine Embassy to cast their ballots.
According to embassy official, some of the voters did not receive their election ballots due to some reasons, including wrong addresses.
“Yung mga kababayan natin na very mobile we know they could change address. 'Pag hindi na-inform po ang embahada ng Comelec, maari po na ang inyong ballot ay naipadala sa previous address,” First Secretary and Consul for France Jesus Garcia said.
Meanwhile, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma lauded the first day of the OAV.
“Naging matagumpay ang pagsisimula ng pagboto ng humigit-kumulang 1.38 milyong migranteng Pilipino o overseas Filipinos sa iba’t ibang panig ng mundo. Nakikiisa po tayo sa COMELEC sa kanilang hangarin na mas maraming bilang ng ating mga kababayan sa ibang bansa ang lumahok sa halalan at itaguyod ang kanilang karapatang bumoto,” Coloma said.
The month-long OAV process will end on May 9, coinciding with date of the local and national elections in the Philippines. — Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena/LBG/RSJ, GMA News

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