Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

5 more precincts opened at Bayanihan from today

12 April 2022

 By Daisy CL Mandap 

A newly opened vote counting machine is tested - five more of these will be put in use from today

Responding to a clamor from Filipinos taking part in this year’s overseas voting in Hong Kong the Commission on Elections has allowed the Consulate to open five more precincts at Bayanihan Centre starting today, Tuesday.

The decision was relayed by Consul General Raly Tejada to The SUN in a text message late on Monday. The Consulate posted a separate announcement on its Facebook page a few minutes later.

This means, the number of precincts in Hong Kong will revert to the original ten, instead of the five that were opened on the first day of voting on Sunday.


The shortage of polling stations resulted in a long line of voters, sparking a request from the police that the queuing be stopped less than four hours after the polling started, saying they could no longer the crowd.

“Medyo we can rest easy now,” Congen Tejada said in a message, before adding “This election will set a new record in terms of participation.”

He said he was particularly happy about the 1,265 people who turned up to vote on the second day of voting, which was relatively high for a weekday.


On the first day, the turnout reached 3,265 despite the early cut-off.

Voters in precinct 4 had to wait longer when the VCM got full so its SD card had to be replaced

Many migrant workers have called out both the Consulate and the Comelec for halving the number of precincts in Hong Kong at a time when overseas Filipinos are being asked to take part in what is seen as a watershed election in the country.

Shiela Tebia-Bonifacio, vice chairperson of United Filipinos in Hong Kong (Unifil-Migrante said in a statement that halting the voting before noon on the first day was to be expected because only five VCMs were in place to cater to the thousands who had lined up to vote.

“We already pointed out that this is very problematic, with 93,000 voters. And this is the result: stopping people from queuing six hours before the polling closed for the day,” she said.


The migrant leader also questioned the Consulate for saying that they expected a turnout of around 40%, given the pandemic-related restrictions enforced in Hong Kong. Bonifacio said this was an attempt to disenfranchise many Filipinos.

But Congen Tejada said the Consulate had been lobbying with the Comelec to keep the 10 precincts previously assigned to Hong Kong.

He said they were aware that Filipinos in Hong Kong have actively participated in overseas voting from the time it was introduced in 2004, and that more machines were needed to ensure a higher turnout this year.


Comelec’s decision was said to have been based on a finding that each VCM could take in 20,000 ballots so with Hong Kong’s 93,000 registered voters, five machines would have sufficed.

What they apparently failed to consider was that five precincts would be unable to cope with voters’ demand on Sundays and public holidays when foreign domestic workers who make up most of the voting population are off.

As soon as voting began Sunday, however, Congen Tejada already said he was confident he would get the required authority from Comelec within the week. The police move of halting the queue that day because of an overflow of voters could have only driven home the point.

Getting the precincts ready was no big deal, said Congen, as they had already anticipated getting the approval, and the additional VCMs were already on standby.

Names previously listed under the previous six to ten precincts remained clustered and were just mixed in with those in the five existing ones, allowing for easy segregation.

Teams that will man the additional precincts have already been put together and trained so they will have no problem overseeing the polling from the get-go, said Congen.

On top of these preparations, he said he will talk to the police so they will not halt the queues on Sundays and holidays, when most of the voters are able to go out to cast their ballots.

“I will make sure to inform them that we have the capacity to handle more voters,” he said.

“We just need to work harder so we can clear the lines faster.”

All Filipinos in Hong Kong who are registered to cast their ballots in the month-long election get the chance to vote for a new president, vice-president and 12 senators who will each have a six-year term; and a party-list of their choice.

Those who get elected in the highly contentious election will have to steer the country through the pandemic and a moribund economy wracked by political wrangling and alleged corruption.

Don't Miss