NEW YORK (March 13) – In preparation for the 2010 national elections, according to the Commission on Elections'(COMELEC) Web site, 10,824 have registered as Overseas Absentee Voters (OAV) worldwide as of March 3, 2009. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the COMELEC started accepting application for OAV registration since February 1 and that the process will end August 11, 2009.
The COMELEC also cited an Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) formation in the Middle EAst for its support in encouraging fellow Filipinos to exercise their right to suffrage by registering as OAV.
According to its Web site, Migrante – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia chapter recently threw their support for wider voter participation among OFW’s as it commended the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah for extending the voters’ registration days to accommodate more OVA registrants.
Jimenez particularly citd the group’s efforts to onduct informatin drives in the Filipino community for coming up with their own primer on Overseas Absentee Voting.
“We are, thus, encouraging other OFW formations throughout the world to follow Migrante’s lead and help us encourage wider voter participation among overseas Filipinos. Let us join hands in proving to the rest of the world that distance and oceans are not a hindrance in proclaiming our love for the Motherland by voting for the nation’s next set of leaders in 2010,” Jimenez emphasized.
The COMELEC authorizes the Philippine Foreign Service Posts to conduct OAV registration.
In New York, the Philippine Consulate has continued its Consular outreach community program, which was launched in 2008. The program aims to make services more accessible to the community including dual citizenship and OAV registration. A 2009 schedule was drawn for this purpose, the first venue of which was held in Jersey City on February 1 in cooperation with the Catholic Action of Mary and the Pan American Concerned Citizens Action League, Inc. This was followed by another outreach in Bergenfield, New Jersey on March 7, hosted by Region 1 of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).
This Saturday, March 14, the Consular outreach team will go to Albany, New York and round it up this month with a visit to Stratford, New Jersey in cooperation with the Philippine Community of Southern New Jersey, Inc., Southern New Jersey.
According to the Consulate schedule, the outreach team will be visiting New London, Connecticut; West Roxbury Massachusetts; Rochester, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and New Hampshire from April to August.