Manila officials in the UAE have echoed their call for their 104,295 countrymen registered as voters to participate in the polls, which would be conducted electronically, ahead of April 13 to May 13 fourth overseas absentee voting (OAV) for Philippines’s 2013 mid-term elections. There are 21,645 overseas voters (OVs) in the capital and 82,650 from Dubai and the Northern Emirates, according to the Commission on Elections’ Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters (Comelec-CLOAV) released to the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Dubai three weeks back. There are 950,000 OVs all over the world. Officers and staff from the two Philippine diplomatic missions in the UAE are scheduled to attend the Comelec seminar on the use of the precinct count optical scan machines (PCOSMs) along with their counterparts from Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia as well as Kuwait in Abu Dhabi from April 7 to 9.
Talking to The Gulf Today on Thursday Ambassador Grace Relucio Princesa said: “The OVs can make a difference by having an educated and informed vote.”
“We should elect a political leader who has a credible record of service to every Filipino, particularly to overseas Filipinos and their families,” she added.
Princesa stressed that OVs must bear in mind that a nation’s leadership is imbued with the qualities of “matapang, matalino at matino” (courageous, intelligent and integrity).
Consul General Frank Cimafranca admitted that the challenge is to get the OVs cast their vote because some may not have the time to do so or are not interested at all to exercise their right to suffrage.
“Voting is a civic duty in every democracy. We must do our part in electing our leaders because if we do not it is like we do not care what will happen to our country.”