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.