Filipinos around the world begin casting votes for 2022 polls

Filipinos around the world began casting their votes for the 2022 national elections on Sunday, April 10.

OVERSEAS VOTING BEGINS—An overseas Filipino in Bangladesh is among the early nationals to cast votes for the May 2022 national elections during the first day of overseas absentee voting Sunday, April 10. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Embassy in Bangladesh Facebook Page)

Close to 1.7-million Filipinos abroad are expected to participate in the month-long overseas absentee voting (OAV) leading up to the May 9 elections.

In many parts of the world, migrant Filipinos have turned up in various embassies and consulate offices to cast their votes either on-site or through postal voting.

In Bangladesh, some Filipinos started arriving at the embassy there on Sunday to vote. Ambassador Alan L. Deniega joined Filipino community leaders in casting their votes on the first day of OAV.

Deniega also encouraged registered voters in the country not to wait until the last day to exercise their civic duty of participating in this year’s elections.

The embassy said registered voters in Maldives and Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will receive their ballots through mail.

In China, the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou also opened the OAV there on Sunday as it announced that “election materials already arrived from Comelec (Commission on Elections).”

In Hong Kong, which is experiencing a fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, many nationals still turned up to cast their votes on the first day of the month-long OAV.

At noon, the allowed capacity of voters recommended by the Hong Kong Police was already reached, prompting the Consulate there to resume the voting the next day, Monday.

READ MORE: Pinoys turn out to vote in Hong Kong; reach limit on Sunday noon

The Philippine Consulate General there shared a series of photos taken by an overseas Filipino, Raly Tejada, showing the huge turnout of Filipino voters at the Kennedy Town Centre starting Sunday morning.

The Consulate General there also assured the Hong Kong Government that they will continue to implement strict anti-pandemic measures during the month-long voting period.

In New Zealand, the Philippine Embassy there disclosed on April 9 that “it has not yet received the official ballots and other election-related paraphernalia.”

“We deeply appreciate your understanding during this time as the Embassy continues to be in touch with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) through the Department of Foreign Affairs Office of Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) regarding the delayed shipment of election materials,” the embassy said.

It, however, assured voters that the embassy will “send out the ballots as soon as they are received.”

In Russia, which is currently at war with Ukraine, the Philippine embassy there has also opened the casting of votes of overseas Filipinos “by appointment.”

“During the voting period, the Embassy will be open to overseas voters for collection and casting of your ballot, without holidays, by appointment,” the embassy said.

It also disclosed that there will be mobile voting and consulate outreach missions in select locations in Russia, Armenia, and Kazakhstan.

Various Philippine embassies in United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Vietnam, Turkey, Thailand, Switzerland, South Africa, Portugal, Poland, Papua New Guinea, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, Mexico, Hungary, Greece, France, and Austria are among those that conduct mail or postal voting during the OAV period.

While embassies in countries like Bahrain, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, Lebanon, Myanmar, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, among others allow in person voting until May 9.

Field voting will also be carried out by embassies in Nigeria, Spain, and Indonesia, among others.

A day before the start of OAV, Filipinos in Taiwan opposed the conduct of postal voting, saying that such procedure is prone to manipulation.

READ MORE: Filipinos in Taiwan say no to postal voting

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