Embassy urges Filipinos in Qatar to register and vote for 2016 elections

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Daisy

The Embassy of Philippines in Doha has been reaching out to Filipino expats in Qatar, urging them to get registered for the upcoming national elections in the country in 2016. They have deployed a number of mobile teams across Qatar for their registration campaign.
To bring its campaign much closer to the people, Charge d’affaires Gonaranao Musor said these teams go to places, events and gatherings where they expect a large number of Filipinos.
“Whether they do decide to vote or not, what is important is that we give them the option by registering them,” he stressed. “With the many positive economic developments in the Philippines, it is important that we give every Filipino the power to choose its next leader.”
“Geographical distance should not hinder us from exercising that power or right,” Musor said.
The embassy is also ready to deploy a team to visit companies and organisations in Qatar that employ a large number of Filipinos, helping them with the registration process.
Musor said the mobile registration team could also serve as a consular mission, and address all consular needs of the Filipino expats, including renewal of passports.
The national elections in the Philippines are scheduled to take place on May 9, 2016. Overseas voters will have the chance to vote early, from April 9 to May 9, 2016 (one month). They will get to vote for the new president, vice-president, 12 senators and one party-list representative.
Musor noted that Filipino residents in Qatar aged 18 years old on or before May 9, 2016 can register by presenting their Philippine passport and/or Qatar ID to designated booths at the embassy’s consular section during office hours. Registration closes on October 31.
Musor said from May 6, 2014 to March 31, 2015, a total of 5,270 applications for registrations/certifications were processed, which is only 32.94% of the embassy’s target. The embassy is targeting at least 16,000 new overseas voting registrants in the country before the national elections next year.
In March 2015, the embassy processed 385 new registrants, making it the 10th placer among Middle East and African missions. The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai topped the list followed by the Philippine embassies in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
However, with an estimated 200,000 Filipinos in Qatar, Musor believes they can do more in encouraging their compatriots to register.
“More than just meeting or exceeding our target, we hope that every Filipino in Qatar gets to exercise their right to vote,” he said.