Philippine Absentee Voting Registration to Go On During Eid Holidays
RIYADH, 11 October 2006 – Filipinos in the Central and Eastern regions of the Kingdom are being invited to take advantage of the Eid holidays to sign up in the overseas absentee voting (OAV) registration campaign.
The registration schedule at the embassy today, on Saturday and on Sunday is from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The embassy will be closed from Oct. 16 to 27 in observance of the Eid holidays, but a moble team will go to the field to continue the registration activity.
On Oct. 20, registration will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Al Rashed Abetong Company Ltd. in Riyadh’s Second Industrial City.
An embassy statement yesterday said the activity is being organized by Mike Mones of the Al Rashed Abetong Co. in coordination with Manuel Amora of the Kalipunang Kaakabay ng Manggagawang Pilipino sa Saudi Arabia (Kakampi-KSA) and Mario Ben of the Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS).
The OAV team will also be ready to go to places to conduct mobile registration where there are substantial number of Filipinos who wish to sign up.
Requests for a mobile team and inquiries on the Absentee Voter’s Registration may be directed to Attaché Delza Deriada at telephone number (01) 488-0835 extension 2002 or at direct line (01)482-3559.
When the normal office schedule resumes at the embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah on Oct. 28, registration will also continue until the last day, Oct. 31.
The Commission on Election (Comelec) in Manila has extended the registration deadline to Oct. 31 from Aug. 31 upon the request of various overseas Filipino groups to give those who have yet to register a chance to sign up so that they can vote in the 2007 election.
Overseas absentee voters can vote for candidates for the 12 Senate seats up for grabs next year, plus the party-list seat in the House of Representatives.
The OAV Secretariat in Manila has noted that the response of Filipinos in the Kingdom in the ongoing registration campaign had been dismal.
As of Sept. 30, only about 7,940 have registered since the new list-up opened in Sept. 1, last year, even though the embassy’s OAV team had been traveling to remote places to make it easier for OFWs to register.
In the latest outreach registration conducted by the mobile OAV team together with the Embassy-on-Wheels consular outreach program in Alkhobar on Sept. 21 and at Al-Khafji (approximately 345 km north of Alkhobar and about 100 km to the border of Kuwait), only 149 applications for registration were filed.
The activity at the Al Sahil Hotel in Al-Khafji was organized by the Saudi Arabian Hiligaynon Inc. (SAHI) led by Florante Catanus in cooperation with the Afscom Eastern Region led by Roilo Alojado and the Al-Khafji Filipino Association of Fernando Crisostomo.
Response to the current registration was a far cry from the more than 96,000 Filipinos in the Kingdom registered in 2003, the highest worldwide at that time.