Some of the 1.7 million Filipinos abroad started on Sunday casting their ballots for Eleksyon 2022.
Overseas absentee voting (OAV) runs from April 9 to May 10 in Philippine posts, using both automated and manual voting systems.
Absentee voters in Dubai began casting their ballots on Sunday at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai.
According to the Philippine Consul General the United Arab Emirates has the largest number of registered voters with about 200,000.
Voting hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, and 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from April 11 to May 8.
Meanwhile, voting on May 9 will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Earlier, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) postponed the start of overseas voting in Shanghai, China due to the COVID-19 surge.
Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said there were around 1,600 Filipino voters in the city.
He added that the commission is studying the possibility of suspending polls in seven other countries and cities including Baghdad; Iraq; Algeria; Chad; Tunisia; Libya; in Islamabad, Afghanistan; and Ukraine.
There are a total of 127 registered voters in these countries.
Hong Kong OAV
Meanwhile, the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong on Sunday advised overseas Filipino voters to consider voting tomorrow (Monday) or another day because “today’s capacity to accept voters has reached its limit.”
“Before giving its consent, one of the conditions set forth by the Hong Kong Government is strict compliance with anti-pandemic measures given that Hong Kong is in the midst of the Fifth Wave of the pandemic,” it said in an advisory.
“Thus, to ensure effective crowd control and compliance with anti-pandemic measures, the Consulate General upon the recommendation of the Hong Kong Police wishes to announce that today’s capacity to accept voters has reached its limit,” it added.
The consulate general also appealed to all employers to allow Filipinos to vote during weekdays when the volume of people is lower. —LBG/KG, GMA News