The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
DUBAI: Registered Filipino voters in the UAE are encouraged to exercise their right to suffrage at the April 13 to May 13 Philippine general-local elections even if they do not have any voter identification (ID) cards issued by Manila’s Commission on Elections (Comelec). They just have to present their valid Philippine passport or Emirates national ID card.
The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCGDXB) issued an announcement regarding this matter and uploaded it over its website and Facebook account on March 26.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes forwarded the announcement to the media on Monday.
As the OAV nears, some Filipinos have expressed concern over two things: whether they can still register and cast their vote at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi or at the PCGDXB, and how they may vote when they have not been notified about the availability of their Comelec voter ID cards.
On the voter ID cards, the PCGDXB advisory carried the Dec.20, 2017 notification of Comelec on its website: “(Comelec) would like to inform the public that the generation and distribution of voter ID cards has been put on hold as a result of the approval of the House of Representatives of a bill seeking to establish a national identification system, which proposes only one ID for all government transactions.”
That enacted bill on Sept. 8, 2017—with initial proposals way back at the time of the Ramos Administration in the 1990s—was also approved and passed by the Philippine Senate on March 19, 2018. It was signed into law as the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) by President Rodrigo Duterte on Aug.8, 2018. It mandates Filipinos from age 18 all over the world and permanent alien Philippine residents to enrol for their free-of-charge national ID card to be used in all government and private transactions, including registration and voting identification purposes.
Comelec announced on July 2018 it would not issue any voter ID cards.
On the registration, Filipinos who failed to get enlisted on or before September 30, 2018—the last day of the continuing registration for the purpose of the May 13, 2019 election and are therefore not in the list of the Comelec Certified List of Voters—cannot vote.
UAE mainstream media carried news on the Comelec voter registration since 2017 and until a few days before Sept.30, 2018.
Mock elections, in which Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and accredited media took part, in relation to the month-long overseas absentee voting (OAV) electoral process for the one-day Manila’s Mid-Term (General and Local) Elections on May 13, Monday, were held at the Rizal Hall of the Philippine Consulate General in Al Qusais, Dubai (PCGDXB) on Saturday morning.
Some of the 318,992 registered Filipinos voters in the UAE for Manila’s mid-term elections took advantage of the first day-weekend April 13 to May 13 overseas voting (OV) on Saturday.
The Philippine Consulate General in Al Qusais, Dubai (PCGDXB) has two polling precincts operational until 9 p.m. to accommodate registered Filipino voters who only have evenings as their opportunity to exercise their right to suffrage for Manila’s May 13 mid-term (legislative/general/local) elections.
Registered overseas voters at the Philippine Embassy and at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO-AUH) in Al Qubaisa, Abu Dhabi flowed in continually on Thursday, the sixth day of the 30-day overseas voting (OV) for the May 13 Manila mid-term (legislative-general-local) elections.
Philippine Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes on Sunday evening thanked the UAE government and other UAE homegrown organisations for making the 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence momentous and memorable.
Following the roaring success of the International Day of Yoga during the past four years, the Consulate General of India in Dubai and various Indian community organisations have geared up to repeat the success for the fifth consecutive year.
The Court of Appeal in Fujairah has looked into the murder case of an Asian worker by his colleague in a labour accommodation in the emirate. According to the police records, the defendant who was a flatmate of the victim, was consuming alcohol excessively with five others on the day of the incident. The defendant and the victim entered into a heated discussion. The accused assaulted the victim and stabbed him with a knife in the abdomen. The suspect was subsequently arrested by the police after an attempt to rescue the victim.