SENATOR Koko Pimentel on Friday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to provide 100 percent postage funding to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to facilitate the ongoing Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV).
According to Pimentel, even though the OAV started last April 13 yet, not all Filipino voters abroad have been able to vote because many have not received their ballots by mail.
“Not all registered Filipino voters who were supposed to receive mailing packets containing their ballots have received the same even to this date,” said Pimentel, Chairman of the Senate Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation Committee.
The senator highlighted the complaints of Filipinos in Washington DC, USA.
“I have information that this is because the Commission on Elections has remitted only fifty percent of the postage funding requirements to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) consulates in some regions. Thus, consulates would even advance their own funds just to cover their mailing expenses for the elections,” added Pimentel.
Pimentel underscored that voting is a fundamental right of every citizen wherever they are.
“This is not acceptable as Filipino voters abroad went out of their way to register for the elections, only to be deprived of their voting right because of lack of funding by the Comelec,” he said.
“Comelec should provide 100% postage funding to all DFA consulates and embassies so all registered OFWs can participate in this election,” he added.