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Kuwait Filipinos top OAV globally
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on April 30, 2012, 6:41 am

(By Michele Fe Santiago, Special to the Arab Times, 30 April 2012)

Target exceeded: Philippine Embassy

KUWAIT CITY, April 30: The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait ranks first in the total number of Overseas Absentee Voters (OAV) registrants among the 94 Philippine posts across the globe, Dalidig Ibrahim Tanandato, the OAV Administering Officer at the Philippine Embassy, disclosed Monday.

"We are pleased to announce that a total of 4,117 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Kuwait had registered for the OAV from the period of November 2, 2011 to April 24, 2012. This figure far exceeds the Embassy’s target of 3,453 for the six-month period. We are very happy that we have topped all other posts. This is a good indication that Filipinos in Kuwait are keen on exercising their right of suffrage," outlined Tanandato.

He said included among the top 10 from November 2, 2011 to April 17, 2012 are the following Philippine posts: Los Angeles with 3,227 followed by Singapore 2, 849; Madrid 2,262; Rome 1,970; Hong Kong 1,923; London 1,819; Riyadh 1,744; Tel-Aviv 1,610 and Toronto 1,407.

There are over 180,000 OFWs in Kuwait and about 60 per cent of these are working as Household Service Workers (HSWs), and not all employers allow their HSWs to go to the embassy and register for the OAV.

"We hope to further increase the number of OAV registrants in Kuwait, hence, we are encouraging all Filipino organizations in Kuwait or those companies with a big number of Filipino workers to register during weekdays from Sunday to Thursday, from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm,” urged Tanandato. He added that those who cannot register on weekdays due to their hectic work schedule may write to the embassy, stating the number of would-be registrants, date and time that they would want to go to the embassy. “They just have to coordinate with us so we can accommodate them. They must also bring with them a copy of their passport,” he explained.

Tanandato stated that OFWs in Kuwait can register until October 31, 2012. The local and national elections in the Philippines will be held in May 2013. Filipinos abroad who have registered as Overseas Absentee Voters will be able to cast their votes and have their voices heard during the elections.

"Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known as “The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003,” all citizens of the Philippines abroad, not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election, and who are registered overseas absentee voters with approved application to vote in absentia, may vote for Senators and Party-List Representatives,” cited Tanandato.

He added that for this purpose, all qualified Filipinos citizens not registered as voters under Republic Act No. 8189, otherwise known as “The Voters Registration Act of 1996,” (the system of continuing registration) shall file an application for registration while those who are already registered under the said Act shall file an application for certification.


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