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Dismayed over delayed delivery of ballots in NZ

Filipino voters in New Zealand are dismayed over the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) failure to allocate an adequate budget for mail stamps for overseas absentee voting for the May 13 midterm elections.

On April 27, the Comelec reportedly transferred P55 million and approved an additional P14 million for payment of postage fees, to ensure that the mailing packets for overseas voters will be delivered.

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With only two weeks to go, that budget release was way too late. Bakit ngayon lang? Why only now? The Comelec’s failure to guarantee the timely delivery of ballots with prepaid envelopes will surely mean massive voter disenfranchisement again.

The last-minute budget

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release for postage fees is a major blunder and exposes how the current administration continues to neglect Filipinos abroad. The Philippine economy relies on the billions of dollars of remittances by overseas Filipino workers, and yet we are always taken for granted. This is a gross, unforgivable case of neglect, not only of our rights but also the integrity of our elections.

Voting is not a privilege but a fundamental right of every Filipino. We call upon the Comelec to be accountable for this deliberate disregard of OFWs’ right to elect rightful candidates for this year’s elections.

MIKEE SANTOS,

chair, Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand,

migranteaotearoanz

@gmail.com

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TAGS: ballots, Comelec, Elections, letter, NZ, OAV
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