OFW group launches worldwide voter registration drive

Apr. 22, 2012

Press Release
April 20, 2012

OFW group launches worldwide voter registration drive

Migrante Sectoral Party kicked off a massive local and international voter registration drive today to encourage overseas Filipinos and their families to register for the May 2013 national elections.

According to Connie Bragas-Regalado, president of Migrante Sectoral Party, they have started a massive voter education and registration campaign as early as 2011 in different countries.  This year, they resolved to “up the ante for overseas absentee voter registration through the consolidated and more massive efforts of Filipino communities abroad.”

Bragas-Regalado said voter registration campaigns are simultaneously conducted in Hong Kong, Middle East, USA, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and other parts of the Asia Pacific.

“We also decided to launch a counterpart voter registration drive here in the Philippines to encourage more families of overseas Filipinos to register.  Let us aim to reach, even surpass, the one million targets,” she said.

The Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) of the Department of Foreign Affairs reported that the number of applicants for 2011-2012 has so far numbered to only 34,603 with 10,237 from the Americas; 7,252 from the Asia-Pacific; 8,152 from Europe; and 8,962 from Middle East and North Africa.  The OAV deadline for registration is on October 31.

In 2010, about 589,830 overseas Filipinos were registered but only 152, 323 or 26 percent voted.  The figure is far from 2004 when the OAV was first implemented.  Out of 359,297 registered voters, 233,094 or 65 percent voted.   In 2007, voters’ turnout dropped to 16 percent with 81,732 out of 503,896 registered overseas absentee voters.

Bragas-Regalado attributed the disenfranchisement of overseas Filipino voters to “limiting provisions” in the OAV Act, as well as the failure of some government agencies to address issues and complaints pertaining to the actual processes and implementing procedures of the OAV.

“We call on overseas Filipinos and their families to turn the tide on overseas absentee voting.  There are presently 12 million OFWs around the world.  Let our voices be heard and our votes be counted.  To do this, we call on Filipino communities to work together and work double time,” Bragas-Regalado said.

For its OAV education and registration drive, Migrante Sectoral Party also set up a blog site, www.migrantepartylist.wordpress.com, to address FAQs (frequently asked questions) and how-to’s on the OAV.

“We will be giving updates on the OAV registration turnout through the blog as well as info-materials and other supplements for our kababayans here and abroad.

For reference:

Connie Bragas-Regalado
Migrante Sectoral Party

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