Comelec okays absentee voting of nearly 40,000 OFWs-A A +A
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) approved the applications of nearly 40,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and migrants abroad as absentee voters.
The approval of the applicants, who are mostly based in the Middle East and throughout Asia, came after the ninth hearing conducted by the Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting.
Exact number of approved applications totaled 39,238, majority of which are from Kuwait, Dubai and Hongkong.
Other absentee voters came from the United States, London, Canada, China, and even The Hague and Israel.
Such as an OFW group, the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) continues to lobby for online voting and amendments in the current Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) Law.
Enacted in 2003, CMA said “necessary improvements” will enable the law to become a more effective tool for absentee voters’ empowerment.
One of the issues raised for amendment is the requirement on Filipino immigrants and permanent residents abroad to execute an affidavit of intent to return and establish permanent physical residence in the Philippines.
Online voting is also pushed with the current law only allowing postal voting and personal appearances in designated voting centers like the Philippine Consulates abroad.
Outside Luzon, the Western Visayas region is home to the families of most number of OFWs and migrants.