Comelec’s Garcia hopes Congress can tackle ‘internet voting’ for future polls
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Garcia on Friday hopes Congress will consider allowing “internet voting” in the next coming elections, considering that some overseas Filipino voters struggle to vote in person.
Garcia recognized that some foreign employers do not allow their Filipino employees to go out.
“Ang problema po, hindi po talaga napapayagan po ng kanilang mga employer and therefore, hindi po nakakaboto,” Garcia said in Teleradyo interview.
(The problem is, there are instances that employers do not allow their employees to go out.)
“Sana nga po sa susunod nating mga botohan, mapagisipan na ng ating Kongreso ang internet voting, lalo na sa overseas voters natin,” he added.
(I hope that in our next elections, Congress will consider allowing internet voting, especially for our overseas voters.)
This, in response to a phone-in question from an overseas Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia, who said she cannot vote because her employer did not allow to go outside.
“Madami po tayong ganyan…nakakalungkot mang isipin [There are a lot of similar cases…it’s sad to say],” Garcia said.
Further, he noted that some Philippine posts abroad opted to have in-person voting.
There are over 1.697 million registered Filipino overseas voters for the 2022 polls.
“Kaya lang po hindi ganun karami ang nakakaboto dahil naintindihan po natin yung kalagayan ng iba, lalo na kung ang pinili ng mismong embahada natin ay voting personally. Ibig sabihin pupunta sila mismo sa embahada, hindi by mailing,” Garcia went on.
(However, not a lot gets to vote and we understand the situation of others, especially if the embassy in their host country opted for in-person voting. This means the voter needs to personally go to the embassy, not mail in their ballots.)
As of May 5, the Comelec has reported a 23-percent voter turn-out for overseas absentee voting.
Comelec Marlon Cascuejo earlier said in a press briefing that of the 1,697,130 registered overseas voters, some 385,437 have cast their votes.
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