Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Security of Undocs for OAV

Press Statement
16 February 2009

Security and Safety of undocumented first before urging them to enlist for 2010 polls

This is a reaction to the news reports that the OAV Secretariat of COMLEC and DFA is both urging undocumented to enlist for 2010 elections.

On the said reports, Foreign Affairs Spokesman and OAV Chair Bayani Mangibin made mention on how undocumented OFWs could enlist themselves for the 2010 elections by simply bringing some form of identification such as passport.

We are aghast on Mr. Mangibin's statement as it certainly lacks wisdom on the subject matter. How could an undocumented or ran away or illegal OFWs could enlist for the OAV if his primary identification which is his passport was being kept by his abusive employer? How could you encourage someone to come and register himself if he is deemed to keeping away from the public or host government's eye much more in the official voters list as absentee voters because of the very status of his stay in the host country as illegal or undocumented? That is precisely the reason why we have called the undocumented or illegal as 'TNT' (tago-ng-tago) . Mr. Mangibin certainly does not know the predicaments of undocumented OFWs whose main concern is their security and safety, before anything else, before exercising its right of suffrage.

Without paying attention on the security and safety of undocumented before enlisting for the OAV, Mr. Mangibin's information how to enlist for the 2010 polls become implausible. In this regard, we are calling the OAV Secretariat to provide clear rules and regulations on the registration of undocumented paying attention to their concerns which is their security and safety and this include the provision for their legalization first. Without such clear rules and regulations, no undocumented are willing to register as overseas absentee voters for 2010 elections.

More so, the shortening of the OAV registration from the original duration of 9-months to 7-months now by virtue of a COMELEC resolution would not give a fair time to OFWs who are facing lots of limitations to register as absentee voters.

The limited and inaccessible OAV registration centers as most OFWs are coming from far locations, the timing of the registrations which are not conducive for OFWs to enlist themselves as it contradicts on their day offs are seen reasons why many will be disenfranchised. We are quite sure that the OAV Secretariat target of 1-M absentee voters for 2010 elections is unattainable because of the reasons as stated above which the OAV Secretariat must squarely resolve. # # #

John Leonard Monterona
Migrante Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No.: 00966 564 97 8012


Anonymous said...

i believe that the reason cited for being uanable to register is reeling towards utmost negativity. Even if the registration period has been shortened to seven (7)months, it still allows our fellow Filipinos sufficient time to register. During the initial implementation of the OAV in 2003, the registration period was for 2 months only but roughly 300,000+ Filipinos enlisted as overseas absentee voters. In the previous election, registration period was for 10 months (i think), but less than a 100,000 registered. Time frame is not a problem. Government is now providing an avenue for our kababayans to take part in our democratic process, instead of meeting the solution with negativity, why not cooperate instead. If you think that there is a number of Filipinos who wants to regsiter at the Embassy or Consulate on weekends, by all means reach out to the Ambassador or Consul General and make a request so that regsitration be open on particular weekends. Instead of creating mayhem, try to be part of the solution. Open communication is the key.

Migrante Saudi Arabia said...

Our line of communication with the staff and officials of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, and even the POLO-ERO in Al Khobar have always been open.

Reporting everything goes on daily between us and the said offices would rival Facebook notifications.

Besides, why bother? We are duty-bound to report to our members and our National Office, but not to strangers who cannot even honestly sign their name on an online comment.

A.M. Ociones
Migrante Saudi Arabia