With the national presidential elections merely less than a year away, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has officially declared that they will be implementing a “mobile voting” system to make it possible for OFWs to cast their votes.
Arthur Lim, current commissioner of Comelec, said that they will be bringing voting machines in various destinations where there are huge numbers of OFWs such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Middle East countries.
During a press conference held at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Lim said:
“We will bring the voting machines to stations outside the embassies where our OFW voters may conveniently go to cast their ballots.”
Comelec and DFA are working together to ensure that OFWs are given the chance to exercise their right to vote. In May 2016, voters in the Philippines will have the opportunity to elect a new president, vice president, senators, as well as provincial and local officials.
Currently, there are over 1.2 million OFWs and mobile voting will make it easier for them to let their voices be heard come Election Day. Lim hopes that at least half of that number will show up and take the time to cast their votes.
The voting machines will be brought to accessible places such as the workplaces of OFWs. This is a good improvement compared to past years when voters actually had to visit Philippine embassies and consulates before they can participate in the elections.
To be eligible to vote, unregistered OFWs may still register on or before October 31 of this year.
With President Noynoy Aquino declaring no intentions to run again, the three top presidentiables that will likely contend for the country’s highest post include DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and Senator Grace Poe. Last September 26, thousands of people gathered at Quirino Grandstand in Manila in the hopes of convincing Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run as president as well.