May 29, 2010
POOR TURN OUt IN OAV VOTES BLAMED TO DFA
Los Angeles- PESANTE NEWS learned that the last elections showed the extent where the Filipinos have gone through-out the world.
From Italy City to Tonga, and from Tanzania to Cook island, it seems there is no part of the world that the Filipino voter has not set foot on.
The report of the joint congressional committee's canvassing of overseas absentee votes has underscored the extent of the Filipino diaspora, with certificates of canvass coming from cosmopolitan cities and little known territories all over the globe.
The Philippine Congress used to manual elections, counted first the votes from these far-off lands were the first ones canvassed to determine the winning President and Vice President in the Philippines' first automated general elections.Most of the overseas Filipinos voted manually, either by mail or by filling out ballots at designated areas. They had one month to cast their votes.
Little Known to the Most Famous
Among the little-known countries and territories where Filipino voters are registered are Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Anguilla, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Swaziland, Zambia and Lesotho.
Sadly, though, none or very few voters in some countries bothered to turn up, as evident in COCs that tallied ballots in single digits or none at all.
The countries where there were zero or only one person who voted include Portugal, Greenland, Liechtenstein, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Colombia, Fiji, Maldives, Samoa, Lithuania, Barbados, Tonga, Greenland, Dominican Republic, Zimbabwe, Namibia and the Netherlands.
There are about 589,000 registered overseas Filipino voters worldwide. Only about 150,000 participated in the May 10 elections.
Elections in the United States
The US based Echo Prk Community Coalition (EPCC) said it was not a surprise that there were many Filipinos in many parts of the world.
" As long as the election is done inside the consulates people will think it is tainted. It is due to the perceived notion that RP goverment agencies including the Embassies and consulates is totally corrupt.
The EPCC further said that the low turnout of voters that led to zero votes in some places could be due to an inadequate information campaign or the voter's disinterest because of the absence of campaigning. At the same EPCC believes that turnout should not have been low in areas where there are Philippine embassies or consulates.
Meanwhile ,Nueva Ecija Rep. Eduardo Nonato Joson, for his part, said the overseas voters may have been discouraged because of the expenses that voting would entail. In some countries, voters would have to travel to the designated voting areas, some of them in neighboring countries or cities away from their places of work.
This is the case in the US where the RP consulates are in the cities like New York and Los Angeles away from the state around it." Even in LA, the RP Consulate is inaacessible. Who would scarfice dollar a