Senators to Filipinos abroad: Go out and vote
MANILA, Philippines – Several senators on Monday urged Filipinos abroad to exercise their right of suffrage as the month-long overseas absentee voting (OAV) for the 2019 midterm elections touched off over the weekend.
Sen. Joel Villanueva encouraged Filipinos abroad to cast their votes since an election is “highest form of political exercise.”
Villanueva added that lawmakers fought for the enactment of the law on overseas absentee voting in a move to recognize Filipinos’ right to vote wherever they are based.
“For too long a time, Filipinos working overseas and public servants on election duty could not exercise their right to suffrage, so we worked with members of Congress to pass the law on absentee voting,” Villanueva said.
“Kaya po hinihikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan sa ibang bansa na makilahok sa halalan,” he added.
OAV for the midterm polls started on Saturday, April 13, and will end on May 13.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that the initial voter turnout was low.
Sen. Koko Pimentel said the Comelec should improve its information dissemination campaign for the overseas absentee voting process.
“Comelec should put out public pronouncements for the overseas Filipinos to vote. Announce that voting period has started,” Pimentel said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Sonny Angara said that it would be better if the number of polling precincts would be increased to accommodate more Filipino voters.
“Going forward mas maganda pag mas maraming polling places or precincts for overseas voting . ‘Yan ang usually complaint ng kababayan natin – malayo ang lugar at di sila makapunta (Going forward, it would be better if we have more voting precincts for the OAV. It is the usual complaint of Filipinos abroad. Precincts are too far that they can no longer vote),” he said.
“So maybe in the larger countries with larger Filipino communities we could study the possibility of more polling places,” he added. /gsg
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