"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Remove AVL Residency Requirement

Is the affidavit on Residency Requirement likely to be on the way out after it was insidiously inserted during the passage of RA 9189 or the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003? Earlier reports seem to indicate this development but that remains to be seen on how the Philippine Congress will amend the provision.

27 years in the making and agonizing lobbying effort of the Overseas Filipino community finally allowed to participate in the electoral process was a dismal failure partly because of the provision that requires Overseas Filipinos to resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years after approval of his/her registration as an overseas absentee voter.

The Daphne Amendment

In a recent development Daphne Ceniza-Kouk a Hong Kong based prominent campaigner for absentee voting since the initial lobbying effort before the passage of the Overseas Absentee Voting Law was still relentlessly pursuing the lobbying effort that will encourage OFWs to participate in the electoral process. One of the major stumbling bloc to OFWs participation is the residency requirement she was instrumental in persuading “Teddy Boy” Locsin, Jr. to see the negative effects of the provision and was quoted in an ABS-CBN news:

Representative Teodoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin Jr. said he will do away with the residency requirement being asked of overseas Filipinos in order to vote in Philippine national elections.

"I will remove the residency requirement and I will call it the Daphne amendment in honor of Daphne Kuok who twisted my arm," Locsin said on ANC primetime show "Talkbalk."

Kuok is one of the most prominent overseas Filipino leaders in Hong Kong very visible during the campaign for the enactment of overseas absentee voting (Republic Act 9189) and currently in drawing up the amendments of this act.

That’s one major hurdle to go and hopefully other kinks are ironed out before the next election in 2010. There are other kinks that need to be ironed out, especially the registration process that requires overseas Filipino registrants to personally appear in their respective consulates. The US for one is a huge continent and to expect registrants to appear personally is impractical owing to the expense it will incur in traveling to designated consulates that are located in states where Filipinos reside.

Ellene Sana of CMA (Center for Migrant Advocacy) reported that last Wednesday 4/30/08, the house of representatives approved on second reading OAV substitute house bill 3793 as contained in committee on suffrage and electoral reforms report 389. HB 3793 is mainly based on the proposed OAV house bill 2046 authored by cong. Locsin and cong. Cuenco both authors of HB 2046 were not around last Wednesday.

HB 2046 amended section 5d by extending the voting rights to registered voter-immigrants and permanent residents from the original 3 years to 7 years.

Extending the requirement to re-establish residency from 3 years to 7 years is unacceptable, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Dual Citizens on this issue therefore this 5D provision must be deleted and not extended. Mr. Locsin who unfortunately was not at the Wednesday vote has to be reminded on his commitment to remove the residency requirement and so are the rest of the representatives, they can be reached at the following contact addresses:

Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr.

Rm. S-507, House of Representatives, Quezon City

Phone: 931-5001 local 7285, 9315883
Chief of Staff: Atty. Ignatius Rodriguez
email Send Email

Antonio V. Cuenco

Rm. RVM-422, House of Representatives, Quezon City
Phone: 931-5001 local 7060, 9518929
Chief of Staff: James Anthony R. Cuenco

Maria Isabelle Climaco

Rm. S-508, House of Representatives, Quezon City
Phone: 931-5001 local 7286, 9514327
Chief of Staff: Michael Angelo S. Saavedra
email Send Email

Ana Theresia 'Risa' Hontiveros-Baraquel

Rm. S-514, House of Representatives, Quezon City
Phone: 931-5001 local 7292, 9316575
Chief of Staff: Mariquit Cherry S. Melgar
email Send Email

Rex Gatchalian

Rm. S-209, House of Representatives, Quezon City
Phone: 931-5001 local 7270, 9317327
Chief of Staff: Analiza dela Cruz Villamar
email Send Email

Rufus Rodriguez

Rm. S-510, House of Representatives, Quezon City
Phone: 931-5001 local 7288, 9316730
Chief of Staff: Maximo B. Rodriguez Jr.
email Send Email

Or you can go to the Congress website and use their form email by clicking on send email at the bottom. To learn more on the proposed amendments go to the Comelec website.

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