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OAV in several countries encounters minor setbacks

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2019

The Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) on Saturday (April 13) drew minor setbacks in several countries.

In Hong Kong

Two voting machines encountered technical problems during the first day of the OAV. The machines were rejecting the ballots.

According to Consul General Antonio Morales aside from the machines, they also encountered problems with incomplete shading, over-voting, and problems with some ballots’ barcode.

In Russia

The Facebook page of the Philippine Embassy in Russia was filled with complaints due to the insufficient number of ballots for the total voters.

Only 2,169 ballots arrived in Russia where the number of registered voters is at 3,529.

UNTV is still waiting for the response of the Philippine Embassy in Russia on the said issue.I

Meanwhile, in other countries like Taiwan, Malaysia, and East Timor, there was only a small voter turnout during the first day of the OAV.

Manila Economic Cultural Office (MECO) Deputy Resident Representative Atty. Carlo Aquino urges voters in Taiwan not to wait for the last day in order to vote.

“Magkakasabay-sabay po kayo. Hanggang Mayo 13 bukas po ang MECO para tanggapin ang inyong boto. Gamitin po natin ang ating karapatan na mamili kung sino ang mamumuno sa atin, (There might be an influx of voters. MECO is open for you to vote until May 13. Let us use our right to choose on who should lead us)” he said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Grace Casin)

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Overseas absentee voting kicks off April 13

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, April 13th, 2019

An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Dubai participates in 2013 Philippine elections through overseas absentee voting (OAV). (Lonix Foto Grafix | PVI)

MANILA, Philippines – The month-long overseas absentee voting (OAV) has begun today, April 13.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) said there are a total of 1,822,173 overseas voters for this election. Majority of this voters are land-based workers totaling 1,779,140 while 43,033 are sea-based workers.

In photos taken by UNTV News and Rescue team in Singapore (correspondent Queenie Ballon), some of the registered Filipino voters there have lined up early at the Philippine Embassy to cast their votes.

Overseas Filipino worker Bobby Catolos, who has been working in Singapore for 20 years now, said he makes it a point to consistently exercise his right to suffrage since 2007.

In Hongkong, the UNTV News and Rescue team (correspondent Ferdie Petalio) reported that Filipinos there also went to cast their votes early despite the inclement weather.

Comelec-OFOV said most of the registered voters are in the Middle East and African region followed by the Asia Pacific, North and Latin America and European region.

However, there will be no OAV in three areas—Damascus in Syria, Tripoli in Libya and Baghdad in Iraq—due to the ongoing tensions there.

READ: DFA raises alert level 3 in Libya

Comelec said that of the 83 countries or Philippine posts, 41 will use vote counting machines (VCM), while Filipinos abroad within the jurisdictions of the remaining 42 areas will use the manual system of voting, either personal or through postal.

The 41 posts that will use VCMs include Agana, Brunei, Calgary, Chicago, Canberra, Honolulu, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Macau, New York, Ottawa, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Taipei, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Wellington, Athens, London, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Beirut, Abu Dhabu, Kuwait, Manama, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Muscat, AL-Khobar, Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

The 42 countries that will use postal voting are Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Bangkok, Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzho, Hanoi, Islamad, Mexico, Santiago, Port Moresby, Yangon, Ankara, Berne, Budapes, Berline, Brussels, Budapest, Lusbon, Moscow, Geneva, Oslo, Paris, The Hague, Vienna, Warsaw, Prague, Cairo, Pretoria and Abuja.

Personal voting will be used in Jakarta, Dhaka, Dili, Manado, New Delhi, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Xiamen, Shanghai, Vatican, Amman, Tehran and Nairobi.

Comelec-OFOV hopes for higher voter turnout this election than the 16 percent recorded in 2007 and 2013 polls.

The overseas absentee voting will last until May 13. – Robie de Guzman

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Meralco assures no power outages during elections

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 12th, 2019

During a press briefing on Friday (April 12), Manila Electric Company (Meralco) assured that there will be no power outages during the May elections.

Company spokesman Jose Zaldarriaga said they already have contingency measures including forming a task force to make sure the elections this coming May will run smoothly.

“Contingency measures are in place to make sure uninterrupted elections,” he said.

They will also dispatch mobile generator sets to critical areas that might be affected by the power outages.

“Kasama diyan ang pag-dispacth ng mga (These include dispatching) mobile gen sets in areas we deem as critical to ensure that there will be no power outages in the precinct and the canvassing centers,” he said.

On Thursday, Senate energy committee chairman Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian raised concerns over possible power outages during election day.—Aileen Cerrudo

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Gatchalian worries over possible brownout during elections due to low power supply reserves

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 12th, 2019

Senate energy committee chairman Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian

Senate energy committee chairman Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, raised concerns over the possibility of a brownout during elections.

This is due to the low power supply reserve in the Luzon grid.

“Normally kapag nagka-outage, isang planta lang, dalawang planta, tatlong planta, but if you’re talking about 1,400 megawatts (MW) at maraming planta ito then tumataas ang possibility na magkaroon tayo ng brownout sa eleksyon, (Normally during outage, it is only one to three [power] plants, but if you’re talking about 1,400 (MW) with several power plants then there is a high possibility there will be brownout during elections)” he said.

Gatchalian also said the Department of Energy (DOE) should investigate the spate of maintenance shutdown in order to make sure that there will be no power interruptions during election day.

“The DOE should remain vigilant for possible collusion due to thin electricity reserves in the midst of high demand,” he said.

The energy department is already meeting with the management of the power plants that had shut down.

From March to April, four power plants already shut down with a total of 1,352 MW loss in Luzon.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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