CIBAC Party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna on Wednesday said overseas absentee voter turnout depends on the information campaign.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) expects that there will be a higher overseas absentee voter turnout this coming 2019 midterm elections surpass the 16 percent turnout during the 2013 midterm elections.
The reason behind the expectation is that more Filipinos living abroad recognize the impact of their votes in the elections results encouraging them to participate and even campaign for candidates they believe in.
“We are all Filipinos entitled to exercise our right to vote. In September 2018, our kababayans 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,” said the chairman of House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.
According to COMELEC, voter education is important in Philippine posts 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 meeting for voter education. 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,” said Tugna.
“More people to participate in our elections will be beneficial for our country’s leadership. This will result to us Filipinos believing that it is within our hands how our country is governed. We can choose who to trust and give power to. Moreover, leaders who will win and be voted for by more people will know that they have more responsibility to show that they are worthy officials during their term otherwise voters will opt to not vote for them during the next elections,” he added.