Non-resident Filipinos cast ballots in mid-term elections
April 15, 2019 | 5:12 PM
by Agencies
Diplomats have called the turnout 'impressive'.

Manila: Filipinos living overseas are voting in their country's mid-term elections, with diplomats calling turnout 'impressive'.

At the Philippine Embassy in Moscow, which covers the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Ukraine, and Belarus, more than 30 Filipinos cast their ballots on the first day of voting.

"Everything is well. No problems so far except for a few people whose names were not in the Certified List of Overseas Voters for our post, which we hope to resolve soon with the Commission on Elections," Philippine Ambassador Carlos Sorreta said.

At the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, hundreds of registered Filipino voters waited outside the consulate over the weekend.

“The turnout is impressive and satisfactory,” Philippine Consul General Edgar Badajos said in an earlier interview in Jeddah.

Submitting a report from Guangzhou, the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in the area reported that the conduct of the voting was problem-free.

"Guangzhou PCG is expecting approximately 1,000 voters within its jurisdiction as Filipinos all over the world take part in the democratic exercise," it said.

The same was said about voting at the country's embassy in Washington.

"The first day of overseas voting passed without incident. The embassy expects to receive more accomplished ballots in the coming days," Darell Artates, public diplomacy officer at the embassy.

In Japan, Consul General Robespierre Bolivar said Filipinos were "enthusiastic" about the 2019 elections and went to the embassy on the first two days of voting.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Embassy's Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group received at least 80 ballots through the mail.

"Today, April 15, the Embassy’s Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI) will feed this first batch of ballots into the Vote Counting Machines," he said.

Bolivar said the Embassy is now mailing the remaining voting packets to the registered voters since there are almost 40,000 ballots that have to be sorted and mailed to voters in Japan.

For the 2019 National and Local Elections (NLE), a total of 1,822,173 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) registered for Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV).

Of this number, 401,390 are based in the Asia-Pacific region, 887,744 in the Middle East and Africa, 187, 632 in Europe, and 345,415 in the North and Latin American region.

Aside from the three conflict-affected posts, namely Damascus, Tripoli, and Baghdad where overseas voting was cancelled, all Filipino foreign posts opened its doors to Filipinos who participated in the OAV.

A total of 41 posts used the vote counting machines, namely those based in Agana, Calgary, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Ottawa, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Brunei, Canberra, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Taipei, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Syndey, Tokyo, Wellington, Athens, London, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Al-Khobar, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, voting via mail was utilised in Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Santiago, Bangkok, Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Islamabad, Port Moresby, Yangon, Ankara, Berlin, Berne, Brussels, Budapest, Geneva, Lisbon, Moscow, Oslo, Paris, Prague, The Hague, Vienna, Warsaw, Abuja, Cairo, and Pretoria.

In some countries OFWs voted in person, including at diplomatic posts in Dhaka, Dili, Jakarta, Manado, New Delhi, Phnom Penh, Shanghai, Vientiane, Xiamen, Vatican, Amman, Nairobi, and Tehran.

The OAV for the 2019 mid-term polls will end on May 13, 2019.

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