Department of Foreign Affairs
April 11, 2010
11 April 2010 -- Some 4,141 Filipino overseas absentee voters already cast their ballots after the first day of voting in the different Philippine Embassies and Consulates General around the world, the Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat (DFA-OAVS) announced today.
As of 11:20 a.m. today, the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong had the most number of ballots cast with 997, followed by the Philippine Embassy in London (558), and the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh (266).
Rounding out the top 10 in terms of voter turn-out are: the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago (242); the Philippine Embassy in Singapore (218), the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah (180), the Philippine Embassy in Berlin (144), the Philippine Embassy in Madrid (135), the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok (118), and the Philippine Consulate General in Barcelona (117).
The first day of the overseas voting went smoothly and orderly in most, if not all, of the overseas precincts monitored by the DFA-OAVS.
Voter turnout is expected to increase on the second day of voting, since it falls on a Sunday, the usual day-off of overseas Filipinos.
In a report to the DFA, Consul General to Hong Kong Claro Cristobal said that the first-ever elections under the new Automated Election System (AES) began in Hong Kong with an ecumenical prayer service followed by the blessing of all 10 rooms where the 20 precinct clusters at the Bayanihan Kennedy Town Center are located.
The precincts opened at exactly 8:00 am. Voters started the process of voting by checking with the bank of seven computerized voter search terminals manned by volunteers to locate their respective precincts. As voters made their way to their precincts on the upper floors of the voting center, marshals were on hand to provide assistance.
The first Filipino to vote in Hong Kong was overseas Filipino worker Rowena dela Cruz. It took her roughly one-and-a-half minutes to complete the process of voting for a president, a vice president, 12 senators and a party-list organization.
Seventeen would-be voters were unable to find their names on the Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters (CLOAV). The helpdesk constituted by the Consulate General immediately informed the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) about these cases.
Voting in Hong Kong will run from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays, and 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Hong Kong statutory holidays until May 10.
The overseas absentee voting in all Embassies and Consulates General will end on May 10 at 6:00 PM (Philippine time). All votes should be received by the end of the voting period, including the ones sent through the mail. Daily voting schedules will be at least eight hours a day. Individual Embassies and Consulates General may adopt a flexible schedule to accommodate the most number of voters.
There are 589,830 registered overseas voters for the May 2010 elections, certified by the Resident Election Registration Board of the COMELEC. The overseas voters will have the opportunity to elect the next President, the Vice President, 12 senators and one party-list representative.
There are three modes of voting employed in the OAV exercise for this particular election period -- Automated Mode of Voting (using the PCOS machines) in Hong Kong and Singapore, Personal Voting and Postal Voting.
The DFA reminded voters using the Personal and the Automated Modes of Voting to bring their passports or other personal identification documents to facilitate the verification of their identity.
Photos of Filipinos voting in Geneva, Shanghai, Moscow, and in other Embassies and Consulates General are available in the DFA website, www.dfa.gov.ph. END