By Don Tagala | ABS-CBN News
The Philippine Commission on Elections has extended the registration period for Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) for two more weeks, beginning October 1 until October 14, the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC announced Wednesday.
With that, Filipinos abroad are given their last chance to register as voters for the May 2022 Philippine presidential elections. Eligible Filipino absentee voters may go to the nearest Philippine consulates from Mondays to Fridays to register.
According to Philippine Consul Ricarte Abejuela, registrants must bring the overseas voter form, a photocopy of their identification certificate when coming to the Consulate to register. Personal appearance is also a must since biometric information is also needed.
Consul Abejuela said, registered voters who failed to vote in the last two elections need to register again to be able to vote in the upcoming May 2022 elections. "You will have to come to the consulate to have your account reactivated. So as a rule of thumb, if you have participated in the last two election cycles --so that's 2016 and 2019, then you're good."
In New York, the Philippine Consulate’s OAV registration is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m o 4:00 p.m. No appointments are necessary during the extension period.
Eligible voters may also check with their consulates if OAV registrations are available on certain weekends.
Most Filipinos in Connecticut are delighted to hear about the extension for the OAV registration. They also say that their priority in their presidential bet shortlist – is a candidate who can better handle the pandemic and who will make Covid-19 a top priority in their administration.
"'Yung ma-ha-handle talaga yung COVID, kasi as we know the COVID situation in the Philippines is really very bad. Ang daming namamatay. I don't see it being handled properly so siyempre ang gusto rin natin yung makatataas ng antas ng pamumuhay ng mamamayan lalo na sa mahihirap," Ariel Magtibay, a registered voter said.
Another voter, Cherry Smith, adds that she is looking for a presidential candidate who is honest and very responsible. "Ang hinahanap kong magiging Presidente ng Pilipinas, is yung una, honest.. Tapos very responsible sa lahat ng Filipino at agad-agad sumagot pag mayroong problema. Lalo na itong pandemic… kailangan kung pwede mabigyan ng agad na solusyon lalong lalo na ngayon."