Thursday May 05, 2022

One more date for OFWs to cast votes in Philippine polls

One more date for OFWs to cast votes in Philippine polls

Filipinos from the Northern Emirates are able to cast their votes at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai on April 30 and May 1 through a COMELEC-supported free roundtrip shuttle bus service.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

The Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Dubai (PCGDXB and POLODXB respectively) shall be open on May 9 (Monday) only to accommodate Filipinos who have yet to cast their votes for the month-long Philippine Presidential/National Elections-Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) that began on April 10.

The decision of these two Manila missions, located in the Al Qusais District, was known on Thursday afternoon. On the same day, daily broadsheets and 24/7 portals in Metro Manila, particularly the Philippine Daily Inquirer and The Philippine Star, had released by 12:30 p.m. (UAE time/4:30 p.m. Philippine time) the news about May 9 being a special non-working holiday.

It was the Philippines’ Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, on behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte who signed on Thursday morning Proclamation 1378: “To enable the people to properly exercise their right to vote; now, therefore, I, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare Monday, 09 May 2022, a special (non-working) holiday throughout the country for the National and Local Elections.”

Meanwhile, at 6:50 p.m. on Thursday, PCGDXB also announced: “Those intending to vote on 06 to 08 May (Friday to Sunday) at the Philippine Consulate General must be in the queue before 7 p.m. for them to be accommodated inside the polling precinct and allowed to vote. While on 09 May, they must be inside Consulate premises or within 30 meters of the Consulate entrance gate by 3:00 p.m. in order to be allowed to vote.”

It was nine days back or on April 28 (Thursday), when officials from the Philippines’ Commission on Elections (COMELEC), asked outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte to declare May 9 a special non-working holiday so that all registered Filipino voters have the time to participate at the electoral process that would ascertain the June 30, 2022 to June 30, 2028 set of local and national leaders, including legislators that comprise the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives.

The online portal of the Metro Manila-headquartered Business World quoted COMELEC chairman Saidamen Pangarungan: “We signed Resolution No. 10784 requesting President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to declare (09 May 2022), as a special non-working holiday all throughout the country in connection with the National and Local Elections signed by the Commission en banc.”

On Thursday morning, the advisory of the PCGDXB-where five polling precincts are situated-was released: “The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai informs the public that in view of the 2022 National Elections, it will temporarily suspend its consular operations on 09 May and 10 May 2022 as its premises will be used for the counting of votes. Only emergency cases will be accommodated. For the public’s information and guidance.”

On Thursday afternoon, Labour Attache for Dubai and the Northern Emirates John Rio Bautista told Rlixa: “POLODXB services are suspended on 09 May 2022 to give way for the last day of the National Elections. Those with appointments for the job contract verification, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (first-time/renewal) membership, and Overseas Employment Certificate issuance will be accommodated on any day after 09 May.”

At the POLODXB are five other polling precincts.

The OAV with 1,697,215 registered overseas Filipino voters worldwide are only to elect the successor of President Duterte, the successor of Vice President Leni Robredo, 12 senators to complete the 24-seats at the Philippine Senate and one party-list representative that shall be a member of the House of Representatives.

The total number of registered voters in the UAE are 290,182. Of these, 191,779 are from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah in the COMELEC’s Certified List of Absentee Voters (CLOAV) with the PCGDXB. The other 98,403 are in the CLOAV of the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

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