Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

Record-high ‘5k plus’ turnout on second Sunday of overseas voting in HK

17 April 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap

It took most voters around six hours of queuing to get to the gates of the Bayanihan polling centre

More than 5,000 Filipinos who queued up an average of six hours managed to cast their ballots at the Bayanihan Centre in Kennedy Town on Sunday, Apr 17, on the second Sunday of the overseas voting in Hong Kong.

This was according to Consul General Raly Tejada, who has been constrained by what he said was a new resolution by the Commission on Elections prohibiting overseas posts from providing the exact daily turnout figure.

The total tally far exceeds the record for the 2022 election set last Friday, when Congen Tejada said more than 3,400 people cast their ballots. On Saturday, the turnout was “almost 3,000”.

Given all these figures, the total turnout for the past eight days of voting is now at least 21,292.

Staff and volunteers try to let in as many people as possible inside Bayanihan

At this rate, and given that there are three more Sundays to go plus a statutory holiday on May 1, the final turnout could easily exceed the 45,561 votes cast - or 49% of the registered voters - posted in the 2016 presidential election.

However, the all-time record turnout remains the 66,500 votes cast in the first overseas voting in 2004, when manual voting was still in force. The figure represented 75% of the 89,000 registered voters that year.

Voters lined up to as far as 3 kilometres away

Sunday’s record tally was reached despite an advisory from the Consulate by midday for people to consider going back in the afternoon to queue because the line had by then extended to Mount Davis Path, which is about 3 km away.

The appeal set off a buzz that the queuing was being stopped again at the police request. Not a few people who were about to set off towards the tail-end of the line had second thoughts about continuing.


But this was immediately disproved by Congen Tejada in a text message.

“It’s not true. I talked to them,” he said. “Nakiusap lang tayo for them to come back na lang sana mamayang hapon.” (We just appealed to them to come back, if possible, later in the afternoon).

The previous Sunday, the police asked Congen Tejada to cut off the queue less than four hours after the polls opened, saying they could no longer control the crowd. Despite this, the turnout was a remarkable 3,285.


Another reason for the request was because one of the vote counting machines being used in precinct 9 had broken down, forcing many of the voters there to wait even longer than usual to cast their ballots.

As a stop-gap measure, Consul Bob Quintin who is deputized by Comelec to oversee the voting in Hong Kong, had to escort the voters in batches of five to different precincts so they could fill in the ballots there and feed them into the designated VCM.


Congen Tejada assured that the machine was being fixed, and that Comelec had assured them that additional VCMs would be sent by Wednesday.

“Hopefully they would arrive soon so we can replace the VCM that malfunctioned,” he said.

The crush inside Precinct 9, where the vote counting machine conked out

Despite the seemingly endless queue and the hiccup with the VCM, the voting went on smoothly, with only one voter being led away from her precinct after apparently feeling faint from having stood for a long time and passing up on lunch.


One Filipina who stood by precinct no 9 at about 3:30pm said she had queued up as early at 9:30am, and managed to last only because she had brought some “suman” (sticky rice) which she munched on along the way.

Others said they were more tired than hungry, and wished they could at least sit down when they got to Bayanihan.


By around 4:45pm, the line outside the polling centre had disappeared as if by magic. Three wise voters took this as an opportunity to get to the gates before the official closing time without having to queue. They managed to get through.

Voter search desks closed shortly after 5pm 

Then, at exactly 5pm, volunteer Marites Nuval, president of Global Alliance, pushed the iron gate close, signaling the end of another day of voting.

The overseas voting for all Filipinos abroad has been set from Apr 10 to May 9. In the Philippines, some 67 million registered voters will get to cast their votes nationwide only on that final day.


While voters in the Philippines get to elect both national and local officials, overseas electors can only vote for a president, vice-president, 12 senators and one partylist.

Don't Miss