PH posts in Switzerland push overseas voting registration

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine overseas posts in Switzerland boosted efforts to promote voter's registration for the 2016 national elections among Filipinos there.

The Philippine embassy in Berne and the Philippine consulate in Geneva teamed up with the Tambayan Pinoy Swiss (TPS) online channel to encourage overseas absentee voters (OAV) to register.

"Overseas voting is open to Filipinos living abroad who are 18 years old and above and are not disqualified by law," said Philippine ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Leslie Baja in an interview with TPS.

In Switzerland, the overseas registration is open to Filipino citizens living and working there, including holders of dual citizenship.

"To register for the 2016 elections, just bring a proof of Filipino citizenship. A Philippine passport is the best document to submit," added Cecilia Rebong, the country's permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva.

Filipinos residing in Geneva and Vaud are encouraged to register in the Philippine consulate in Geneva. Meanwhile, those in the rest of Switzerland may register at the Philippine embassy in Berne.

During the 2013 midterm elections, there were a total of 2,495 OAVs registered in Switzerland. However, only 874 of them – or a turnout of 35% – actually voted during the one-month absentee voting period, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Office for Overseas Voting.

Personal voting is applied in Geneva, while postal voting is followed in Berne. OAVs can only vote for national positions: president, vice president, senator, and party-list representative.

Voter's registration for the 2016 elections runs from May 6, 2014 until October 31, 2015.

Comelec reiterates that 9.6 million Filipinos who have incomplete biometrics data should have them revalidated or recaptured. If they don't, they will not be able to vote in the 2016 polls. – Rappler.com