(MENAFN - Arab News) Some 12,000 overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia enrolled as new voters in the Philippines. Yesterday was the last day for registration of overseas absentee voters (OAV). The Philippines Foreign Affairs Ministry's request to extend the deadline for registration abroad was declined by the country's independent Election authority, Comelec.
Registering as OAV will allow Filipinos in the Kingdom to vote for 12 members of the Philippine Senate and one party-list representative in the Philippine's general elections in 2013.
One thousand and four hundred expatriate Filipino workers in Jeddah and the western region have registered their names as new voters, says Consul Tito Ausan Jr, who is in-charge of the electoral process at the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah. He said the response from the community is better than previous years. He also noted that the area coordinators within the community played an important role in the registration process. He urged Filipino expatriates to participate in the electoral process when polling takes place.
The registration of overseas voters was confined to Jeddah city and a significant number of Filipinos working in the western and southern provinces were unable to register their names.
In Riyadh, Alkhobar and Buraidah an additional 10,600 new voters registered, according to senior diplomat Red Genotiva, who is in-charge of the electoral process at the Philippines Embassy in Riyadh.
The Philippines Embassy held registration campaigns by visiting different places not only in Riyadh but also in Alkhobar and Buraidah to encourage registration of eligible voters. Community schools also helped to a great extent in raising awareness, especially in Riyadh.