x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai Filipinos flock to the polls

Dubai ranked second after Riyadh in voter turnout among the Philippine missions in the Gulf region after two weeks of overseas absentee voting.

Dubai ranked second after Riyadh in voter turnout among the Philippine missions in the Gulf region after two weeks of overseas absentee voting.

It ranked fourth worldwide, with Hong Kong, Riyadh, and Singapore occupying the first three spots.

The ranking is based on a report issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs' overseas absentee voting secretariat in Manila on April 28.

"I think it's expected since Dubai also ranks second after Riyadh in hosting the most number of Filipinos in the Middle East," said Frank Cimafranca, the consul-general in Dubai.

More than 600,000 Filipinos live and work in the UAE. Of those, 400, 000 are in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The Abu Dhabi embassy was fourth in the region and sixth worldwide. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are among seven foreign service posts that use the automated election system. Both local missions conducted field-voting to reach out to the 98,206 registered voters in the UAE. The month-long voting ends on May 13, election day in the Philippines.

Mr Cimafranca said he hoped more Filipinos would vote this week.

"The voter turnout is still very low in proportion to the registered voters, and compared to the voter turnout in Hong Kong and Singapore," he said.

 

Grace Princesa, the Philippine ambassador in the UAE, said field-voting was held in Al Ain at the weekend, and they plan to reach out to voters in Ruwwais.

Voting will end on May 13 at 3pm, when the midterm polls close in the Philippines at 7pm local time.

For the consulate's voting hours and field-voting venues, visit www.pcgdubai.net.

rruiz@thenational.ae