Trips, gifts await OFWs who sign up to vote in 2013
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is giving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) more reasons to register and vote in the 2013 polls.
In a press conference last Wednesday, the Comelec said it was raffling off all-expense-paid trips to some of the country’s premier destinations and gift checks to OFWs who enlist for the coming midterm elections.
And if they don’t think such an offer is compelling enough, embassy and consular staff in various parts of the world will literally go the extra mile by visiting them in their workplaces or homes to facilitate their registration, said Commissioner Armando Velasco.
Velasco, who chairs the election body’s committee on overseas absentee voting (OAV), said these incentives were aimed at increasing the dismal figures of OAV registration, which began in November last year.
Raffle prizes would include free trips to Boracay and Baguio, among other destinations, and gift checks from Duty Free Philippines, said Velasco. “But we’re still finalizing the mechanics,” he added.
The Comelec will also “corner” OFWs in airports so they could register before leaving the country, said Velasco.
“There will be registration booths in airports as well as at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration office where they can enlist as they get their [work permits],” he added.
In the last two months, only 16,070 OFWs had registered for the 2013 elections—a far cry from the Comelec’s target of at least one million from an estimated 12 million Filipinos working abroad, noted Velasco.