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Buses to be deployed again to bring voters to Bayanihan

31 March 2016

Transport committee members discuss details of their plan.
Eight places have been designated as pick-up and drop-off points for voters on five Sundays of the month-long overseas voting in the Philippine general elections that will be held at the Bayanihan Center in Kennedy Town starting Apr 9.
This was agreed on by a panel of Filipino business executives that met with Vice Consul Alex Vallespin at the Consulate on Marc. 15.
The group chose Tsuen Wan, Yuen Long, Ma On Shan, Sai Kung, Shek Kip Mei, Tai Wai, Choi Hung and North Point as the places where chartered buses will pick up voters and take them to Bayanihan Center.
Voters can use the same buses to return to their districts, but they would be dropped off only at the pick-up points.
The practice of busing voters to Bayanihan to encourage them to vote has been in place since the 2007 mid-term elections when the turnout dipped significantly, prompting overseas voting volunteers to look for ways to arrest the decline.
At least 40 buses will be hired to transport voters from these points during an eight-hour period, 7:30am to 3:30pm, on Apr 10, 17, 24, and May 1 and 8.
Other voters may, however, go there by themselves using public transport.
As of Mar 15, the executives had committed to sponsor 22 of the 40 buses needed to service the eight routes on the specified dates.
Among the companies that will sponsor the trips are AFreight, LBC, Prime Credit, Roberto V. Ongpin group, SMART-PLDT, CSL, the Philippine Bankers’ Club and Peya Travel.
Vallespin is hoping that more sponsors will come forward to fill the deficit.
The UP Alumni Association-Hong Kong agreed to post marshals at the pick-up points to shepherd voters who would take the buses, and assign a marshal on each of the vehicles.
No campaigning will be allowed on the buses but sponsoring companies can display their streamers on the sides of the vehicle and distribute flyers on board. – Vir B. Lumicao

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