|BI joins info drive on absentee voting|
JULY 15, 2012
Immigration officers in the different international airports will soon be distributing flyers to all departing overseas Filipino workers and other Balikbayans urging the latter to register as absentee voters in the forthcoming 2013 mid-term elections.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the information drive is in line with a collaborative undertaking between the Bureau and Immigration (BI) and Commission on Elections (Comelec) to encourage Filipinos working or living abroad to register and vote in next year’s polls.
David said the Comelec’s education and information department had proposed to provide the BI with adequate number of flyers on overseas absentee voting that will be distributed to Filipino travelers when they pass the airports’ immigration departure counters.
A memorandum order issued by David last July 4 instructed the BI airport operations division to ensure that the flyers are properly distributed to all outbound Filipino passengers by inserting them between the pages of the passengers’ passports.
The immigration officers were likewise directed to remind each traveler on the importance of absentee voting by saying words to the effect: “Thank you for considering registering to vote. If you’re already an overseas absentee voter, please pass the flyer on to someone who you think might be interested to vote in the upcoming elections,”
(In Pilpino, the words may be stated as follows:) “The advice may also be stated in Pilipino as follows: “Maraming salamat sa inyong interes na magparehistro bilang botante. Kung ikaw ay isa ng overseas absentee voter, pakiusap lamang na ipasa niyo ang flyer sa ibang gustong makaalam kung paano sila makakaboto sa darating na halalan.”
At the end every immigration officer’s duty, he or she shall note in a logbook provided by the Comelec that number of flyers that were distributed.
Enacted on Feb. 13, 2003, the overseas absentee voting act, also known as Republic Act No. 9189, provides for a system Filipino citizens currently residing or working abraod to vote in an election.
The act states that all Filipinos abroad who are at least 18 years old at the time of elections are entitled to vote and they may file their applications personally at the nearest Philippine embassy or consulate.
Overseas absentee voters are required to hold valid Philippine passport. For seafarers, a photocopy of their seaman’s book is required while those who availed of the citizenship retention and reacquisition act must submit a copy of the order approving their petition for dual citizenship.###