Manifest intent to vote, group urges OAV registrants who failed to vote twice

REGISTERED overseas absentee voters (OAVs) who failed to vote twice during the National elections on 2007 and 2010, respectively, were given an opportunity to vote this coming May 2010 elections as per the Commission of Elections (Comelec) resolution recently issued.

Comlec Resolution No. 9567 allowed concerned OAVs to vote in the May 2013 elections provided they willsubmit a manifestation of intent to vote until December 21 this year so that their names will not be removed in the National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters (NROAV).

Said Comelec resolution provided 3 options for the concerned OAVs to manifest intent to vote.

One option is to submit the manifestation of intent to vote to the PH embassy or consulate.

Another option is to submit the manifestation to the Commission on Overseas Absentee Voting (COAV) online at www.comelec.gov.ph/coav or through fax at fax number (+632) 521 2952.

And the 3rd option is to submit the manifestation of intent to vote directly with the COAV at COMELEC in Intramuros, Manila.

Overseas Filipino workers group Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) hailed the Comelec for giving a chance to OAV registrants who failed to vote twice.

“We welcome Comelec En banc in issuing Resolution No.9567, which will not only give a third chance for OAV registrants who failed to vote during 2007 and 2010 national elections but also for reminding them their duty of exercising their right to vote,” said John Leonard Monterona, M-ME regional coordinator and Vice-chairperson of Migrante Sectoral Party of overseas Filipino workers and their families.

Monterona added that the manifestation of intent to vote need not be long. ‘Simply saying ‘I manifest my intent to vote in the May 2013 elections and I ask that my name to remain in the NROAV’ would do. Then, file it to the PH embassy or consulate, or to those who have access to internet just visitwww.comelec.gov.ph/coav or through fax at fax number (+632) 521 2952. If on vacation in the Philippines, they can directly visit COMELEC offices in Intramuros, Manila.”

As per COAV records, there are 398,554 new OAVs ‘til the end of the registration on October 2012.

On 2010 elections, there were 589,830 OAVs making the grand total of OAVs 988,384 considered a historical milestone of the Philippine overseas absentee voting system.

“We are facing a tough challenge on how to increase the overseas absentee voters’ turnout to at least 50% out of the grand total registered OAVs. This would mean massive information dissemination and voters education campaign,” Monterona added.

Monterona added, “Exercising our right to vote does not end with our registration as overseas absentee voters. We must exercise our right to vote, meaning we must vote. But we must be wise voters too, so who will be elected are honest and capable public officials.”

Monterona said their group and allied organizations will intensify voters’ education campaign by conducting traditional voters’ education activities such as mass distribution of OAV leaflets and posters, conducting series of group discussions among OFWs groups to using the internet and social media sites as new medium to propagate voters’ education.

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