How do we encourage OFWs to vote?
MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers(OFWs) play a big role in the Philippine economy. In 2014 alone, their remittances amounted to $27 billion, accounting for most of the country's net factor income from abroad (NFIA). (READ: 'Which countries sent the most OFW remittances?')
Despite contributing hugely to the national coffers, these so-called modern-day heroes barely exercise their right to vote.
The turnout for OFW voters continues to dwindle through the years. In the first overseas absentee voting (OAV) in 2004, the turnout was at 65%. At the time, policy makers considered that figure low, given that the government spent more than P112 million for the exercise.
According to data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), however, the OAV turnout in the last two elections have been much lower – with only 25% in 2010 election and 16% in 2013.
In a 2014 statement, then Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr said that poll body was aiming at having two million OAVs for the 2016 polls – more than twice the turnout in the last election.
How can we encourage OFWs to vote? What has the government done and can still do to solve the low voter turnout among Filipinos abroad? What processes does an OFW have to go through to register and vote?
Join our simultaneous Facebook and Twitter conversation on August 21 at 8 pm Manila time using #PHVote and answer the polls below:
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