Filipinos abroad reminded to exercise right to suffrage as overseas voting period looms

March 28, 2022 - 4:23 PM
Ballot boxes
A Commission on Elections officer checks documents for ballot boxes containing Certificates of Canvass from overseas absentee voting posts during canvassing at the PICC in Pasay City in 2019. (The STAR/Geremy Pintolo)

Filipinos working abroad reminded their fellow Pinoys to exercise their right to suffrage ahead of the overseas voting period for the 2022 elections.

An overseas Filipino worker in Israel urged her countrymen to participate in the electoral process as they vote for the next set of leaders who will steer the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Voting time is approaching, we need to exercise our rights! It doesn’t matter who’s (the) candidate you have been supporting, but we need to do this guys!” the OFW said on a Facebook post.

“We will respect each other’s belief of who to vote but we can exercise our rights together as a Filipino,” she added.

Other Filipinos also called the public’s attention and told them about the looming voting period for Filipinos based overseas.

A Twitter user quote tweeted a reminder on this.

“While it’s 47 days away from elections… in the Philippines. BUT IT’S ONLY 18 DAYS AWAY FROM THE START OF OVERSEAS VOTING,” the user who was quote tweeted said.

Several embassies have also released advisories about overseas voting in different territories.

Registered Filipino voters outside the Philippines can participate in the national elections by exercising their right to vote from April 10 to May 9, 2022.

They can vote manually or through an automated election system. Each vote can also be done personally or through postal, where the ballots will be sent to the voters via mail.

For more details, Filipinos can go to the Department of Foreign Affairswebsite for overseas voting.

According to Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez, participating in the process of selecting public officials who will run the country itself is a form of reinforcing democracy in a society.

“It is significant in that simply exercising your right of suffrage connects you to the great democratic tradition of individuals taking part in their own governance,” he said in an opinion column in June 2020.

“It is meaningful in the sense that it allows you to honor the memory of those who sacrificed much, even their very lives, so that Filipinos could enjoy the right of self-determination,” Jimenez added.

Those running for president in the 2022 elections are former Duterte spokesperson Ernesto Abella, entrepreneur Faisal Mangondato, labor leader Leody De Guzman, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, former defense chief Norberto Gonzales, Sen. Ping Lacson, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., physician Jose Montemayor, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and Vice President Leni Robredo.

Meanwhile, those gunning for vice presidency are Rep. Lito Atienza (Buhay party-list), former congressman Walden Bello, radio commentator Rizalito David, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, economist Manny SD Lopez, physician Willie Ong, lawyer Carlos Serapio, and Senate President Tito Sotto III.