The Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver is advising all qualified Filipino nationals to bring copies of their passports when they attend the major Independence Day festivities in Metro Vancouver so they can register as overseas voters for the 2016 Philippine national elections.
Consul General Neil Ferrer said field registration booths will be set up in the following Independence Day celebrations:
• Pista ng Bayan at the Slocan Park in Vancouver, June 7;
• 6th Annual Philippine Independence Day Celebration at the Tephidaram Temple Grounds in Surrey, June 8;
• Philippine Days Festival at the Waterfront Park in North Vancouver, June 14-15; and
• Pagdiriwang 2014 at Lansdowne Mall in Richmond, June 21.
“Opening registration booths in these festivals will broaden opportunities for qualified Filipino voters to sign up, vote, and participate in the choice of the country’s future leaders,” Consul General Ferrer explained.
“People can also visit the Philippine Consulate during regular office hours or go in one of our consular outreach services across Western Canada for this purpose,” he said.
Under the Overseas Voting Law of the Philippines, Filipino citizens overseas, 18 years old and above and not suffering from any disqualifications, may register and vote for the Philippine national elections. These include overseas workers, permanent residents and dual citizens.
Registered voters are eligible to vote for the President, Vice President, Senators, and Party-list Representatives.
The registration period started on May 6, 2014 and will end on October 31, 2015. “We will have much longer registration period this time so we encourage all qualified Filipinos to come out and perform this civic duty,” Consul General Ferrer said.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) of the Philippines is encouraging all Philippine embassies and consulates abroad to step up their overseas voting campaigns, hoping to register at least one million overseas voters for the 2016 elections.
Aside from the longer registration period, Comelec said there are new incentives for voters to sign up and vote, including an amendment in the overseas voting law which removed the requirement for immigrants and dual citizens to sign an affidavit of intent to return to the Philippines.
Comelec also hopes that the updated biometric data technology for registration will help speed up the process and enhance its security.