Philippine posts in Canada records ‘significant increase’ in voting turnout

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com
Philippine posts in Canada records âsignificant increaseâ in voting turnout
Philippine Consulate in Toronto conducts the third feeding of ballots on April 18, 2022 at 9 a.m. Photo shows Consul Mary Grace Villamayor, the SBEI chair, and poll watchers and media representatives at the Sentro Rizal Toronto.
Philippine Consulate General in Toronto

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine foreign service posts in Canada reported a higher overseas voting turnout for the 2022 national elections after the special board of canvassers completed canvassing ballots on Wednesday evening despite delayed ballot deliveries.

According to the embassy’s advisory published Friday morning, Philippine time, a total of 31,802 registered overseas Filipino voters cast their ballots. This is 35.05% of the total 90,729 registered voters across Canada and Bermuda, higher compared to the 28.62% turnout seen in the 2016 national elections.

“The significant increase in voters’ turnout for the 2022 National Elections, exceeding by more than 9,000 the valid ballots counted during the 2016 National Elections, demonstrated the vibrancy and inclusiveness of our democratic process even for overseas Filipinos in Canada,” ambassador Rodolfo Robles said.

There are four foreign service posts in Canada, namely an embassy based in Ottawa and consulates in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto, catering to 49 voting precincts. 

The embassy said the official certificate of canvass (COC) detailing the distribution of votes for the president, vice president, senate and party-list representatives has been made public through a bulletin board in its office. 

A separate set of the COC, the SD cards, and the minutes of voting from every special board of election inspectors (SBEI) will be delivered to Manila for the Commission on Elections.

Just over a week before the election deadline, Canada-based Filipinos were asking if the Comelec or the Philippine posts there would accept mail-in ballots postmarked before May 9 as some voters received their election packets late, further delaying their voting process. 

Filipino voters in areas where only postal voting is conducted were only allowed to cast ballots in person a week before May 9.

READ: Vancouver consulate opens doors for in-person voting

Groups seeking recount in Toronto

Bayan Muna party-list as well as Robredo supporters in Canada are now seeking a recount of votes in the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Toronto, a copy of the certificate of challenge or protest was included in ABS-CBN’s TFC News Report on May 12

Koalisyon Kontra-Daya Spokesperson Marissa Corpus told TFC News that they had doubts over the “60-30 ratio” allegedly logged in each precinct.

“There is uniformity in the ratio of votes between presidential candidates Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Leni Robredo as well as for vice presidential candidates Sara Duterte and Francis Pangilinan, which they argue is highly improbable and raises questions on the integrity of the [vote-counting machines],” the certificate of challenge or protest against the decision of the SBEI reads.

The party-list reportedly demanded a manual recount. Meanwhile, the SBEI has decided to “refer the matter to [the] Comelec.”

But in a separate statement dated May 12, the PCG in Toronto emphasized they have been “transparent from the start.” 

The post said it has made the election process open to poll watchers, accredited observers and the media, and the public from the final testing and sealing of VCMs, feeding of ballots, and the counting and printing of election returns.

“The poll watchers themselves have attested to the transparency and orderliness of the election proceedings,” it said.





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