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.
Finally, a schedule of mobile registrations for the OAV. There is a strong possibility that only a few “very interested” Filipinos would have the chance to know about the schedule of the OAV registration as there is no active effort from Philippine Embassies in some parts of the world to reach out to Pinoys. The DFA has announced the schedule of mobile registration schedule outside the Philippine Embassies in your host country.
For those here in Australia, the DFA said that “for Filipinos in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Darwin, the Philippine embassy in Canberra will be there from July to August; and in Hobart, Tasmania from August 3 to 7.” Now as to when in July to August will they come to your capital, might be up to you to figure out.
Sorry folks, everything is hard even away from home.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and I apologise if it hasn’t lived up to its name lately), you know that I’m personally involved in advocating Filipinos here in Perth and surrounding areas to register as an overseas absentee voter. The campaign is a personal one and I do not have direct funding from anybody, so I am using online and offline social networks to disseminate the information (and to some point personal resources such as petrol, paper, inks, phone credits, etc.).
As a communications specialist, I know the importance of “gatekeepers.” Gatekeepers in communications or marketing are important links to your target audiences or clients. I knew their opinion will matter especially in this very important initiative. Some of my identified gatekeepers here include Asian shopkeepers, association leaders, peer group leaders and religious leaders.
I have tried to distribute a paper for Filipinos to sign to express their interest to register for the OAV and recently, I have asked a friend for help in this campaign. I have specifically asked him to show it to their church members. Their religious group is one of the biggest in the Filipino community here and their assistance would be a great boost to this campaign.
However, to my surprise their head minister turned down the request that the paper be passed on within the church. According to my friend, the minister said that there is an “unofficial” directive from Manila that their expat members (or those based outside Manila) do not participate in the coming election as the Philippine election is “chaotic.” My friend was very apologetic that he wasn’t able to help but I said that I do understand and respect their minister’s decision, who, by the way, is already an Australian citizen. I will be vague at this point as I might inadvertently give details that might identify the group.
For now, off to the next target audience and hopefully I’ll be able to reach my goal by end of July.