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The past 3 Saturdays I was at the Philippine embassy as an Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) volunteer, the atmosphere had been consistently quiet. Even on weekends, voters arrive in trickles. But a surge in the number of poll-goers is anticipated in the last stretch of the election.
As of May 5, only 4,422 have exercised their vote. This is less than 10% of the total 50,063 registered voters. Automated polls have been implemented in Singapore since 2010. Overseas voting runs from April 13 to May 13 and electorates only vote for the Senate and the party-list groups.
When asked about his opinion behind the low turn-out of voters, Consul Victorio Dimagiba Jr, chair of the OAV secretariat in Singapore, said that Filipino voters in Singapore are probably more inclined to vote in a presidential election, rather than a mid-term election. However, this view is not shared by the 2010 election figures where out of 31,851 registered voters, only 9,598 actually went to the precinct and voted.
For the duration of the overseas voting period, the embassy is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. In March this year, the Philippine embassy in Singapore ceased their Sunday operations and moved back to a Monday to Friday work week as part of its continuous efforts to upgrade its services, and to facilitate the conduct of the OAV.