Overseas Filipinos turn out in large numbers to vote

National 1 minute, 37 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

OVERSEAS voting for the 2016 Philippine National Elections saw a positive turnout in Brunei with about 39 per cent of registered voters going to the polls.

Philippine Ambassador Meynardo LB Montealegre said the month-long overseas voting period, which ended yesterday, recorded a “very good” turnout in the sultanate compared to the previous senate elections in 2013 with only a 16 per cent turnout.

Of the 1.32 million registered voters abroad for the national elections, 10,142 overseas voters including 4,600 new registrants reside in Brunei.

“I would say the turnout is very good and that only goes to show the interest of the overseas Filipinos here in Brunei to have their voices heard in terms of electing the new leader that will take office beginning July this year,” said the ambassador.

Ahead of the elections, he said the Philippine government through its foreign missions have been encouraging overseas Filipinos to exercise their right to vote.

“This is part of the responsibility and duty of every Filipino wherever they are – be it in the Philippines or abroad – to make sure they are part of this democratic process of electing our new leader,” he explained.

Montealegre said the embassy in the sultanate will continue to ensure Filipino nationals fulfil their duty by casting their vote in future elections.

“I hope those who haven’t had a chance to register, because of lack of time or other reasons, they will have the opportunity next time around when elections come by to exercise this right,” he added, thanking the Filipinos who voted this year.

He also thanked employers nationwide for allowing their Filipino staff to take time out from work to participate in the voting process at the embassy.

“At this juncture, I’d like to express our sincere appreciation to the Brunei government and other agencies for allowing the embassy to exercise this right of our nationals to vote, and also for allowing us to have our mobile elections,” he said.

The Brunei Times