Additional manpower to handle new Philippine polling system

DUBAI - In the wake of a shift from automated to manual polling system, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) plans to bring in 39 additional staff and constitute a Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI) in the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) in Dubai, disclosed a DFA official.

By Ramona Ruiz

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 23 Jan 2004, 12:07 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:28 AM

In an interview with Khaleej Times, DFA Under-Secretary Rafael Seguis - who is also the chairman of DFA Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) Secretariat - said that till date, the SBEI in the embassy comprises three election inspectors, while the POLO has three other officials.

"The embassy requires 23 additional election inspectors, while the POLO in Dubai needs at least 16. This estimate was made on the basis of the assumption that for manual counting, one election inspector is to be assigned to every 500 voters," he explained.

Of those registered under the OAV Act, a total of 12,761 are from the UAE, he said, adding that the DFA will exhaust its manpower from the post whereby the dependents of the embassy staff could help out in the electoral process.

"We will avoid deploying DFA staff from the Home Office in Manila to augment the manpower in the post. We will seek the Comelec's approval on the additional staff to be deputed both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai," he said.

Asked whether the embassy will require volunteers from the Filippino community to perform the tasks of the SBEI, Mr Seguis replied that this would be decided by the Philippine Ambassador to the UAE, Libran Cabactulan. The SBEI's task is to ensure the orderly conduct of voting and counting processes.

Despite the additional workload to be carried out by the diplomatic staff following the shift from computerised to manual counting, he stressed that the DFA "will implement the OAV the best we can with the assistance of the Comelec."

A total of 15 voting centres will be put in place with manual counting of votes including Philippine embassies in Abu Dhabi, Athens, The Holy See (Vatican City), Kuwait, Riyadh, Rome, and Singapore; the Philippine consulates in Hong Kong, Jeddah, Milan and Saipan; the POLO in Dubai and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei.

More news from