Hong Kong has posted the most number of Filipino voters, three days since the overseas absentee voting began on April 9, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Since absentee voting for Filipinos abroad was introduced in 2004, Hong Kong has consistently topped the list of areas with the most number of voter turnout.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis, concurrent Chairman of the DFA Overseas Voting Secretariat, said he expects the voter turnout to increase in the coming days, noting the momentum picks up as it nears the end of the voting period.
Overseas Filipinos have until 5 p.m. Manila time on May 9 to vote in embassies, consulates or Commission on Elections-designated areas.
For the 2016 National Elections, Philippine Foreign Service Posts have been authorized to implement one of the following modes of voting: Automated Election, Personal/Manual Voting, Postal Voting, and Modified Postal Voting.
The DFA said this year’s polls had the most number of overseas Filipino voter registration with 1.376 million, Seguis said, adding the DFA is targeting a turnout of 80 percent.
The figure is quite small compared to the estimated 10 million overseas Filipinos abroad, but for Seguis the increase in the number or registrations signifies “political maturity” for Philippine nationals living and working overseas.
“Our Filipinos overseas should exercise their right to vote because a big number of votes will have an impact on the number of votes in the Philippines. They will be game-changers in our political and democratic process,” he said.
Seguis attributed the residence status of the Filipinos, their proximity to the polling centers and political indifference as factors in the low turnout of registration and voting.
“What we are doing now is to intensify our information drive with the Filipino community through social media and our local media partners with bureaus in abroad to encourage all registered overseas voters to cast their votes and participate directly in the election and in this nation-building,” he said.