Casiño bats for more satellite voting centers for OFWs
HONG KONG SAR Party-list Rep. and senate candidate Teddy Casiño today called for more satellite voting centers for the 950,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who have registered for the overseas absentee voting (OAV).
Kailangang maglagay pa ang Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) at COMELEC ng mas maraming satellite voting centers para mas madaling makaboto ang ating mga kababayan na nasa ibayong dagat. This is to prevent massive disenfranchisement of OFWs like what happened in the last elections when many were not able to vote due to inaccessibility of voting centers, Casiño said.
Casiño made the call at the 13th Congress of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-HK Migrante) where he delivered the keynote speech.
The lawmaker also said that overseas absentee voters have every right to participate in the political process from their place of residence.
Overseas absentee voters are also very important in the decision-making of the country even if they are abroad. Aside for the economic contributions they bring to the Philippines, they are influential in the voting preference of their dependents. In the coming elections, the overseas vote could even be a very decisive sector, especially for tight races in the last slots for the Senate, Casiño said.
Casiño also supports the amended OAV Act that will drop Section 5d of the original law, which is a serious obstacle to a citizens right to vote. The provision that was removed required immigrants and permanent residents to execute an affidavit stating that they shall come back to the Philippines within three years from approval of their registration as Philippine voters.
This provision has prevented many Filipinos in the United States and Canada from registering and voting in the past Philippine national elections since 2003.We must encourage all our compatriots to exercise their right to vote and we must do all we can to ensure that they can, Casiño said.