DFA needs help with absentee voting
Earlier, a number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) said they had yet to receive their ballots two weeks after the start of the OAV last April 13.

DFA needs help with absentee voting

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - April 29, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign service workers are getting little help amid delays in the release of the budget for the overseas absentee voting (OAV), Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said last Saturday.

“I know the sacrifices you are making so overseas Filipinos can vote and how little help you are getting. One of you advanced $10,000 to make sure ballots are delivered,” Locsin told Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) personnel in a post on Twitter.

“I am so proud of you and so ashamed of the little help. My gratitude is boundless,” he added. 

Earlier, a number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) said they had yet to receive their ballots two weeks after the start of the OAV last April 13. 

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said this was caused by the delay in the purchase of postage stamps due to the late passage of the 2019 national budget. 

In a statement last Friday, the DFA said the embassies and consulates that were allowed to use postal voting have mailed official ballots to the voters’ latest registered addresses. 

“The DFA is confident that the Comelec will be able to provide the necessary resources to enable an honest, fair and credible elections overseas,” the agency said. 

“In the interest of time, the DFA has authorized the concerned Foreign Service Posts to advance the cost of the remaining postage fees in order to bridge the funding gap while awaiting the remittance from the Comelec,” the DFA added. 

The DFA also said it would continue to coordinate with the Comelec to fast-track the OAV process. 

The DFA told OFWs who have yet to receive their ballots to get in touch with the embassy or consulate where they registered as voters or check the websites and social media pages of these diplomatic posts to see if their voting packets were returned. 

For the senatorial and party-list elections, the DFA provides two ways of OAV: personal voting, where the voter goes to the Philippine embassy and Consulate General to cast his or her vote; and postal voting, where the embassy and Consulate General send the official ballot to the voter, who then mails it back to the diplomatic post.  – Pia Lee-Brago

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