Absentee voting boost eyed

A HOUSE leader called for a massive information campaign on absentee voting to boost voter turnout.

CIBAC partylist Rep. Sherwin Tugna, chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, said that higher overseas absentee voter turnout depends on better information campaign.

The Commission on Elections expects that there will be a higher Overseas Absentee Voter turnout this coming 2019 midterm elections to surpass the 16 percent during the 2013 midterm elections.

“The reason behind the expectation is that more of Filipinos living abroad recognize the impact of their votes in the election results resulting in them being more encouraged to campaign for candidates they believe in,” Tugna said.

In September 2018,  Filipinos living abroad remitted a total of $21.3 billion which was 2.5 percent higher than the remittances during the same period in 2017.

“As citizens of the country who help grow our economy, they have a say on how their remittances should be spent by the government through the public officials they vote for,” Tugna added.

The solon pointed out Philippine posts must undertake voter education to encourage more Filipinos living abroad to vote. 

“There is a need to educate our kababayans.  It is good that Comelec performs voter education activities in Philippine posts like reaching out to Filipino communities to host regular meetings for voter education,” he said.  

“However, these efforts should also be strengthened by information given by us who have relatives working and living abroad.  We know who the candidates are and what the current situation of the country is. We can share our views on who are best to be trusted to lead us.  Needless to say, our relatives working and living abroad still have the ultimate decision to make”, Tugna added.