By Leslie Ann Aquino | Manila Bulletin
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) expects more than half a million Filipinos overseas to actually cast their votes in the May 2022 polls.
“Our estimated total number of voter turnout is we are looking at about 580,212. But we still hope it will be higher,” Philip Luis Marin of the Comelec – Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) said in a virtual press briefing Friday, June 11.
“That is our estimate, around 500,000 plus. We would be happier, though, if it will be more,” he added.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said they are a little conservative in their estimate due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Data from the poll body showed that the voter turnout during presidential elections was higher compared to the midterm polls.
The 2004 presidential polls had 233,137 voters (65%), 2010 with 153,323 voters (26%), and 2016 with 430,695 voters (31%).
The 2007 midterm polls had 81,732 voters (16%), 2013 with 118,823 voters (16%), and 2019 with 336,447 voters (18%).
Meanwhile, the Comelec said there are already total of 1,423,941 qualified overseas voters registered as of May 19, 2021.
The poll body added that they are targetting to still register more.
“We are constantly in touched with the Department of Foreign Affairs with regard to reaching this 1.6 million registered voters. I think we need to reach out to the relatives, friends of OFWs here in the Philippines and abroad because sometimes qualified voters are no longer interested in voting,” Marin said.
He said they hope the relatives and friends of OFWs will help convince them to register and vote.
Overseas voter registration will run until September 30, 2021.