April 29th, 2013

Over 26,000 Filipino seafarers eyed to participate in absentee voting

The Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) for Filipinos working abroad kicked-off on the second week of April and will push through until May 13, the same day of that the local elections will be held in the Philippines.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC), the country’s election body, says there are more than 700,000 Overseas Filipino workers who registered for the absentee voting. COMELEC adds that the OAV will be conducted mostly in the office of the Philippine embassies located around the world.

In those 700,000 absentee voters are the 26,808 seafarers who can opt to vote according to the schedule of their ships and the country where they dock.

There are also embassies in some countries offering to go to the ships to make it easier for the seafarers.

COMELEC has also sent out Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in seven countries where Filipinos overseas can take part of the automated polls. The PCOS machines are in use in Hong Kong, Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Dubai and Kuwait.

According to the COMELEC, the region with the highest number of OAV voters is the Middle East (281,372), followed by Asia (228,309), the Americas (125,604), Europe (75,666) and seafarers (26,808).