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PCG fails to hit OVR registration target as for 2019

03 October 2018

The number of Filipino voters in Hong Kong who have registered at the Consulate for next year’s midterm election in the Philippines is 7,000 short of the target figure of 30,000.

This was according to Jethro dela Cruz who is in charge of the overseas voter registration at the Consulate. As of Sept. 23, or just a week before the deadline for the nine-month registration, the total figure for registrants was just over 23,000.

Registration booth at the Consulate.According to Dela Cruz, it would be impossible to reach the original target, given that the number of voters who signed up at the Consulate averaged less than 100 daily. This is despite the recent surge of Sunday registrants due to members of the Jesus Is Lord church trying to beat the deadline. 

The total number of voters in Hong Kong is, however, still the highest for any post abroad. For the presidential election in 2016, the total number of registered voters was 93, 978, although only about half actually cast their ballots.

Mid-term elections traditionally attract less interest among overseas voters as they get to choose only 12 senators and one party-list group. In contrast, voters in the Philippines get to elect all members of the House of Representatives, all regional elected positions in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and all provincial-, city- and municipal-level elected positions. 

Apart from this, the seeming lack of organized effort in Hong Kong to get more voters to register this time could also have contributed to the low overall tally.

The month-long election next year is expected to run from April 14 to May 13.

Dela Cruz said that no new voter’s IDs will be distributed as the Commission on Elections has stopped issuing them in anticipation of the proposed national ID for all Filipinos.

But there are still unclaimed voter’s IDs in the Consulate for Filipinos who registered until 2014. – Vir B. Lumicao

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