Free shuttle services available for OFW voters in HK

Don Kevin Hapal

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Free shuttle services available for OFW voters in HK
OFWs, know the pick-up dates and locations in Hong Kong

MANILA, Philippines – For Filipino voters in Hong Kong, there will be no excuse not to vote. 

To increase the voter turnout of Overseas Filipino Workers(OFWs) in Hong Kong, the office of the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong arranged free shuttle services for Filipinos who will be voting there during the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) period that will start on April 9 until May 9, 2016.

Buses sponsored by various private companies will be picking up Filipinos in the following dates and locations in Hong Kong: 

A. Annunciation Church (11 On Yin Street, Tsuen King Circuit, Tsuen Wan, N.T.) – April 10, 17, 24, May 1, 8

B. Saints Peter and Paul Church (201 Castle Peak Road, Ping Shan, Yuen Long, N.T.) – April 17, 24, May 1, 8

C. St. Francis Church (11 Hang Kwong Street, Ma On Shan, N.T.) – April 24, May 1, 8

D. El Shaddai – Sacred Heart Church (Lot 1762, DD221, Yau Ma Po Streeet, Sai Kung, N.T.) – April 10, May 1, 8

E. Jesus is Lord (223-229 Nam Cheong Street, Sai Kung, N.T.) – April 10, May 1, 8

F. St. Alfred Church (19-21 Man Lai Road, Shatin, N.T.) – May 1, 8

G. Holy Family Parish (Choi Hung Estate Catholic Secondary School, 1 Tse Wai Avenue, Choi Hung Estate, Kowloon) – April 10

H. St. Jude Parish (30 Kin Wah Steet, North Point, Hong Kong) – May 1, 8

Pick-up times for the dates above are 7:45 am, 9:45 am, 11:45 am and 1:45 pm.

According to the Philippine Cultural Section Attaché and delegated elections officer for Hong Kong Jet dela Cruz, the consular office in Hong Kong has launched an information campaign to encourage Filipinos there to vote. The info campaign is done through Facebook, text blasts and leaflets.

There are 93,049 registered voters in Hong Kong. Cruz said they are aiming for at least 50% voter turnout.

“I think that’s feasible dahil mas exciting ang elections this year,” said Cruz. (I think that’s feasible because the elections are more exciting this year)

The consulate office started their preparations to facilitate the OAVs. The training for the facilitators started on April 5, and the final testing and sealing of the vote-counting machines (VCMs) is on April 8. 

Overseas Votes

The number of Filipinos abroad who registered as overseas absentee voters for the 2016 national elections breached the 1-million mark.

Based on the final figures of the Comelec, there are 1,376,067 overseas Filipino voters (OFV) registered worldwide for the 2016 polls. Among them, 1,326,728 are land-based voters, while 49,339 are seafarers. 

However, the voter turnout for OFWs has been dwindling since the past elections. In the first overseas absentee voting (OAV) in 2004, the turnout was at 65%. Policy-makers considered that figure low at the time given that the government spent more than P112 million for the exercise. The turnout dropped even more in the last two elections with only 25% in 2010 and 16% in 2013.

Do you think the free shuttle services will encourage overseas Filipino voters in Hong Kong to go out and vote? Tell us in the comments section below or write on X.

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Don Kevin Hapal

Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.