The registration for the 2019 Philippine National elections has gone into full swing and key agencies catering to overseas Filipinos are preparing to launch new global campaigns.
In relation to this, officers from ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC), the Department of Foreign Affairs Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA – OVS), the Commission on Elections Office for Overseas Voting (COMELEC – OFOV), Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), and Overseas Workers’ Welfare and Administration (OWWA) met this January to work on these campaigns that strengthen Filipino democracy and present a more positive narrative of the global Filipino migration.
Partners since 2013 for the overseas voting campaign DFA – OVS, COMELEC – OFOV and TFC – the flagship brand of ABS-CBN Global, the organization that oversees all international subsidiaries of the Philippines’ largest media and entertainment network, ABS-CBN – are looking at renewing ties to significantly increase the number of overseas Filipino registrants and voters.
Since the launch of the overseas voting registration in December 2017, new OV registrants have reached 388,370 or 43% of the 900,974 target of the foreign service, according to data from DFA. With push from TFC, the DFA and COMELEC teams hope to achieve their target once again. According to DFA press releases in 2015 to 2017 as well, the overseas voting campaigns generated out of the partnerships – “Boto Mo Kinabukasan ng Bawat Filipino”, and “#Vote4ASelfieWorthyPH” – earned the network as well as the two agencies recognition from the prestigious PR Society of the Philippines Anvil Awards (Silver 2015 and Gold 2017) and IABC Quill Awards (Excellence 2017).
Meantime, the DFA OVS and COMELEC call on all Filipino citizens who expect to be abroad from April 13 to May 13, 2019 and who will be at least 18 years old on May 13, 2019, and not otherwise disqualified by law, to register as overseas voters at all Philippine Foreign Service Posts including the three (3) Manila Economic and Cultural Offices (MECO) in Taiwan and including the DFA satellite offices in Manila; Office of Consular Affairs Oceana, Macapagal Avenue in Paranaque City; SM Manila; Robinsons Galleria in Pasig City; Metro Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa; the CFO office in Manila; OWWWA Training Center Intramuros in Manila; Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Mandaluyong City; and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in Manila before September 30, 2018. For an updated list, interested parties can visit www.dfa-oavs.gov.ph or www.comelec.gov.ph
Meantime, CFO and TFC, perennial partners since 2011, are studying the possibility of working together again in the areas of migration policy, planning, information, and education.
Key areas for collaboration include the “Global Summit for Filipinos in the Diaspora”, the financial literacy program Peso Sense, social development assistance Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Program, government agency services portal BaLinkbayan, youth-focused Philippine Schools Overseas (FSOs) and reintegration program YouLeaD-Lakbay Aral. Meantime, for inquires and assistance, CFO can be reached via cfo.gov.ph
For the transient Filipinos composed mostly of the overseas Filipino workers, TFC and OWWA are pursuing talks in the areas of social benefits, education and training assistance, workers’ welfare assistance program & social services and family welfare services including for the Model OFW Family Year Award (MOFYA). Present during the meeting were Deputy Administration Josefino Torres; Policy and Program Development Office Director II Andrelyn Gregorio and ASMD Head Cynthia Erum, who were joined shortly by Administrator Hans Cacdac. OWWA can be reached via owwa.gov.ph or Philippine Overseas Labor and Employment Offices (POLO) in each area.