Filipino mission gears up for voting

Lily B. Libo-on
Filed on April 1, 2013

The Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) will train 40 personnel from the diplomatic missions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in preparation for the first automated Filipino Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV), expected to commence on April 13, a month before the May 14 elections.

The staff to be trained in Abu Dhabi, from April 7 to 9, will man the Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI) and the Special Board of Canvassers (SBOCS) for the first automated elections to be conducted in Abu Dhabi and Dubai together with the diplomatic posts in Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Leading the team of trainers will be Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, chairman of the OAV committee.

The team will also train SBEI and SBOCS for the manual elections in other countries in the Middle East.

In Comelec Resolution 9653, the poll body ordered the extension of the period for the filing of the “manifestation of intent” to vote by OAV up to the last day of voting abroad, which is on May 13.

The same Comelec resolution voting period for Filipino voters abroad generally starts one month before the election day in the Philippines, which is May 14 this year.

Philippine Consul-General in Dubai Frank R. Cimafranca said that over 40,000 Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, including old registrants, are expected to vote in the OAV.

Election machines will also be installed in both diplomatic missions on April 11.

Cimafranca urged registered voters in the UAE to come out and vote by April 13 to raise the number of those who actually voted during the 2010 elections: “Only ten per cent of the registered voters actually voted in 2010, but we would drum up information to reach out to them so many would come out to vote,” he said.

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