In line with the upcoming mid-term elections starting this May in the Philippines, Filipinos in Hong Kong are being briefed regarding the procedures set to take place during the overseas absentee voting that is scheduled to begin from April 13 to May 13 at the Bayanihan Centre.
This is especially important for the OFW sector because legislation that will be supported in the Senate will most likely reach the President’s review and signing for approval. What that means particularly for Filipinos based overseas would also affect their families back home. Therefore, it’s important that we remain informed and aware of the situation in the Philippines, even if we find politics quite unappealing and stressful.
Filipinos in Hong Kong Should Vote Early – ConGen
In line with this, Consul General Antonio Morales urged Filipinos based in Hong Kong to vote early so as not to get caught in long queues and overcrowding at the venue, especially during the closing days, as reported by the Sun HK.
The Consul General’s appeal was made as the Consulate issued an invitation to a meeting at the PCG public area last March 31 to discuss the preparations to be made for the upcoming election scheduled from April 13 to May 13.
A five-member delegation from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) facilitated a training session involving 30 officers from Philippine diplomatic posts in Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia and the MECO (Manila Economic and Cultural Offices) in Taiwan, regarding the conduct of the midterm voting.
Regarding the Consul General’s advisory, he noted that voters typically come in far and few in between during the early parts of the election month, but cram during the closing days which creates long queues at the Bayanihan Centre in Kennedy Town.
Around 50% of the 87,441 registered voters in Hong Kong are expected to take part in the ballot.
Morales explained that it has been an on-going trend for Filipino voters to come in droves during the last days of the ballot, which causes inconveniences not only to themselves but also to the limited number of people overseeing the process on-site.
Moreover, Morales noted that the PCG should start a campaign (by emails) to invite interested poll watchers from the community to register in the coming days.
Meanwhile, for his part, Consul Robert Quintin, head of the Consulate’s election committee, shared that the full roster of the 18-man volunteer group for the Special Board of Election Inspectors, or SBEI, has already been submitted to the COMELEC.
Quintin added that there will also be training on the SBEI’s election duties after the consular staff had been oriented with theirs.