PHL Embassy in Dubai polling stations to be open 29 hours straight
Polling stations at the Philippine Embassy and Consulate in Dubai will be open 29 hours straight to accommodate more Filipino voters in the area.
Filipinos in Dubai can still to head to voting precincts until 1 p.m on Monday (PHL time), after these have continued to be open since 8 a.m. on Sunday, Gulfnews.com reported.
As of 7:55 p.m on May 07 (PHL time), the Philippine Consulate in Dubai has already tallied more than 35,000 ballots cast.
"Nagpapasalamat po ako sa lahat... sa lahat ng bumoto na, 37,000 siguro tayo ngayon pero 122,000 plus plus and boboto so mayroong mga 85,000 pa, darating sila mamaya," Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said.
"Hanggang ala-una pa ho tayo ng hapon bukas, hindi ho kami matutulog, hindi ko kami magsasari, para lang lahat ng mga gustong bumoto ma-accommodate natin dito... Gusto nating mas maraming tinig ng taga-Dubai and marinig ng Pilipinas," he added.
The month-long Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) started on April 9, with a total of 1,376,067 registered Filipino voters under this. For the OAV,voters can pick candidates for national positions: president, vice-president, senators, and party-list.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is hoping for an 80-percent OAV voter turnout this year.
This is a far cry from the 16 percent in the 2013 midterm elections where 118,823 of the 737,759 voters were able to vote, and the 26 percent in the 2010 presidential election where 153,323 of around 600,000 voters took part.
To cap off the OAV in Dubai, the Philippine consulate-general has also set a concert and prayer vigil for a "clean and peaceful" election on Sunday night, the eve of the election day here in the Philippines.
"The concert will feature songs and dances from our community in Dubai and the northern emirates in calling for our country and our people to pray for a peaceful and meaningful election and the subsequent healing of all the wounds and mudslinging that has characterised the last couple of months," Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said in a report by Gulf News. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/DVM, GMA News