With about 18 days to the deadline of registrations for the Overseas Absentee Voting, the Philippine Embassy here in Australia released the schedule of mobile registrations. Mobile registrations are scheduled this month in Darwin, Melbourne and Perth.
Filipinos including those who hold dual citizenship are entitled to register for the OAV. For Filipinos who previously registered as OAV elsewhere, kindly contact the consulate office in your area if you can skip this registration schedule. There are some Pinoys who have expressed doubt in the exercise, however, this is the best that we can do rather than watch as the votes are cast. If there will be any irregularities, I believe there will be some good representations from independent organisations who will be able to deter or at least note of such thing.
Following are the schedule here in Australia:
Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, 15-16 August 2009, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: Philippine Community Centre, Corner of Amy Johnson Ave & Batten Road, Marrara, NT
Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, 22-23 August 2009, 10:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: Philippine House, 93 Cowper Street, Footscray, VIC
Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, 29-30 August 2009, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: Filipino Australian Club of Perth, Inc., 1 Catherine St., Bedford, WA
The registration in Perth on Saturday will be between 9:00am and 12 noon only while registrations on Sunday will be held from 9:00 am to 5:00pm (with 12-1 lunch break ).
All registrants are required to bring a photocopy of their Philippine passport or Dual Citizenship ID. More information on OAV can be found here.
Our country’s history has had some tumultuous and momentous episodes. Some of us have been part of those episodes so, I think it is better for us to participate, for better or worse, in our country’s history. Boycotting this important election is just throwing in the towel. Bloggers who don’t blog about an issue do not get any attention that they did so unless they blog about their action. So, I guess it’s the same with us who might be planning to just dump this important exercise and say, “we’re making a statement.” Unless you blog about it, no one will care that you didn’t vote.
No matter how frustrated some of us with the system, it is worth trying, it is worth fighting, it will still be worth our vote, whether the system fails us or not. We are Pinoys, we are known to be resilient, so let’s go out on those dates and register.
The Philippines will hold its national election next year and with more than 1 million Filipinos working abroad, the opinion of these Filipinos away from home is crucial in possible swings in the elections.
The approval of RA 9189 or The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 provides the facilities for expat Pinoys to vote anywhere provided that there is a Philippine consulate or embassy where they can register and/or vote.
The Philippine Embassy here in Australia advised Filipinos in Australia to register at the Embassy in Canberra between 1 February 2009 and 31 August 2009. I inquired with the embassy as to how will other Filipinos, who are not in the Australian Capital Territory, be able to register for the OAV. An embassy employee advised me to inform the local consulate. The representative also suggested that if I could gather 200 Filipinos here in Perth and surrounding cities wanting to register, the Philippine Embassy will send a team to facilitate registration for these Pinoys.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said in its website that prerequisites for the registration of an overseas absentee voter are as follows:
- Filled up application form
- Capture of biometric details
Former Filipinos who recently re-acquired Filipino citizenship need to show their dual citizenship oath of allegiance or order of approval while seafarers need to show their seafarer’s book.
Filipinos based in Perth and nearby cities need to contact Mr. Gerald Donnelly, the Philippine Consul General here in Western Australia if they want to register for the OAV. Alternatively, if you can gather few of your friends to register please contact me and indicate how many of you will be able to register. I will then coordinate with the Philippine Embassy in Canberra and the local consulate here regarding the number of Filipinos wanting to register as OAVs.
Please register and be counted.