LESS than 600,000 Filipinos overseas are projected by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cast their votes in the May 2022 elections amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a virtual press briefing, Philip Luis Marin of the Comelec Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV), said they were looking at 580,212 overseas voters from April 10 to May 9, 2022.
"But we still hope it will be higher. We would be happier if it will be more," he said.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they have set a conservative estimate due to the prevailing global health crisis.
"We are in the middle of a pandemic, so we are a little conservative," said Jimenez.
In the previous elections, the voter turnout during presidential elections was higher at 233,137 voters (65 percent) in 2004, 153,323 voters (26 percent) in 2010, and 430,695 voters (31 percent) in 2016.
Comparatively, midterm polls have had lower voter turnouts at 81,732 voters (16 percent) in 2007, 118,823 voters (16 percent) in 2013, and 336,447 voters (18 percent) in 2019.
There are currently 1,423,941 registered overseas voters. Overseas voter registration activities will continue until September 30, 2021. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)