Comelec reinstates over 200,000 overseas absentee voters-A A +A
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has approved the reinstatement of over 200,000 Filipino absentee voters abroad.
Based on Comelec Resolution 9653, the poll body ordered the extension of period for the filing of the manifestation of intent to vote, which, in effect, reinstates the earlier 238,557 delisted voters.
"The Commission holds the right of suffrage of every Filipino of highest importance, hence there is a need to revisit the period given to registered OAV, who failed to vote in the two successive elections, to give them an opportunity to participate in the May 13 elections," said the resolution.
The March 5 resolution states that the period of filing of the manifestation has been extended to the "last day of voting for OAV," which is on May 13.
This now brings back the number of registered OAVs to more than 900,000 since there are already some 700,000 accounted for at the time of the ballot printing.
In late last year, the Comelec had already ordered the delisting of 238,557 voters after they failed to vote during the 2007 and 2010 national elections as provided for by the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003.
But while the number of voters went up, the Comelec is not intent on providing them all with ballots.
According to Comelec – Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting (COAV) Chairman Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, the commission has decided not to print additional ballots despite its decision to reinstate voters.
"Based on our latest resolution, we will just make an additional 20 percent for the ballots allocated," said Tagle.
The commissioner, however, assured that there shall be no problem despite the insufficient number of official ballots for postal, personal, and automated voting.
"Sa study namin, hindi naman lahat bumoboto e. Hindi namin nakikitang boboto lahat. Kahit nga dito sa local e, hindi naman lahat bumoboto (According to our study, not all registered voters cast their votes during Election Day. We not expect a 100 percent voter turnout. Even here in the local elections, not everyone casts their votes)," said the poll official.
In the 2010 polls, Tagle noted that some 150,000 out of 580,000 registered voters exercised their rights to vote. (HDT/Sunnex)