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OAV: 2004 & Beyond. Presented by: Center for Migrant Advocacy Philippines (CMA-Phils) to the 2 nd National Electoral Reform Summit 02 September 2004 Sulo Hotel, Quezon City. RA9189 OAV Law. 1987 RP Constitution Sec. 5 Art. 2 8 th -12 th Congress Signed into law on Feb. 13, 2003

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oav 2004 beyond

OAV: 2004 & Beyond

Presented by: Center for Migrant Advocacy Philippines (CMA-Phils)

to the 2nd National Electoral Reform Summit

02 September 2004

Sulo Hotel, Quezon City

ra9189 oav law
RA9189 OAV Law
  • 1987 RP Constitution Sec. 5 Art. 2
  • 8th-12th Congress
  • Signed into law on Feb. 13, 2003
  • Rationale: To restore the right of suffrage to Filipinos overseas who have been denied it due to physical absence in RP.
oav law salient features 1
OAV Law: Salient Features-1
  • Scope: All qualified Filipino citizens overseas, 18 yrs old and above; Immigrants and permanent residents must execute an affidavit of intent to return.
  • Coverage: President, VP, Senators, Party-List representatives
oav law salient features 2
OAV Law: Salient Features-2
  • Registration: Personal at embassies/consulates; ERB; for seafarers: also at Comelec Manila
  • Voting: Personal at embassies/consulates & other designated voting centers
  • Voting: By mail in Japan, Canada, UK

Voting period: 30 days, land-based; 60 days, sea-based

oav law salient features 3
OAV Law: Salient Features-3
  • Counting & Canvass: On-Site; start is synchronized with RP time of counting; Automated for 5,000 voters and above; manual for less [until SC nullified contract for ACMs so it was manual for all]
  • Political Campaign: No prohibition from personal campaigning
  • Information Campaign: Inter-agency; Comelec-accredited NGOs
oav facilities and personnel 1
OAV Facilities and Personnel-1
  • field registration activities in 154 areas covering 44 posts
  • 1,013 deputized for OAV registration-related duties
oav facilities and personnel 2
OAV Facilities and Personnel-2
  • 138 precincts set up in all 81 embassies and consulates, 3 Phil. Labor Offices and 3 MECO offices including 21 field voting centers
  • 2,795 election officers were deputized for voting (37% from foreign service corps; 54% from Filipino communities; 9% from other government agencies in the posts)
problems encountered in the oav implementation
Problems Encountered in the OAV Implementation
  • Few and Far Between Registration and Voting Centers
  • Non-User-Friendly Forms
  • Missing Names, ID Problems
  • Tedious Counting Process
  • Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group (SBRCG)
  • Insufficient human power and Training
  • Lack of Information Dissemination
major recommendations
Major Recommendations
  • Option on Personal or Postal Registration & Voting
  • Implement ASAP Continuing System of registration; also RA 9225
  • No to Affidavit of Intent to Return for Immigrants
  • Adaptable Mechanism for Registration and Voting of Seafarers
  • Sufficient time & Budget for information & political campaign
  • Full Automation of Counting
other recommendations
Other Recommendations
  • Filling Up Forms
  • Voters’ IDs
facts on rp labor migration
Facts on RP Labor Migration
  • In 2003, estimated population of Filipinos overseas was 7.76 million in 192 countries and destinations
  • RP is the world’s biggest sender of workers for overseas employment
  • Daily, 2,444 Filipinos leave for various destinations abroad
  • Annual departure is about 800,000







Residents and

Other Filipinos

Source: CFO

Stock Estimates of Overseas Filipinos, Millions, December 2002

feminization of rp migration
Feminization of RP Migration
  • Women workers constitute more than 50% of deployed workers; 73% in 2002
  • They dominate the service (90%) and professional occupations (85%, as entertainers) while 54% are in production
  • 86% of deployed nurses are women

Economic Contribution

  • Philippine Government acknowledges “critical role of OFWs in the country’s economic and social stability”
  •  OFWs contributes nearly $8 B (8% of GDP) in annual remittances ($7.6 B in 2003 – 10% contraction)
  • Additional $5 B if non-banking channel is considered
  • BSP Governor noted that remittances “make up for the shortfall in foreign direct investments, portfolio investments and even exports.”


In 2002, Overseas Filipinos remitted close to US$ 8B  about 10 times ODA and 3 times Direct Foreign Investment.

Economic Contribution
















The Philippines ranked fairly high in the Globalization Index and took a 21-Step increment from 2002 to 2003.

Reason: The Philippines topped one of the indicators used in the Index  Remittance and Personal Transfers.


(Foreign Policy Magazine, Washington USA)








2002 2003

sona 2004 by pres arroyo
SONA 2004 by Pres. Arroyo
  • “...To create Economic Opportunity at home and ABROAD. I don’t want just one or the other. I want both.
  • …..At the end of my term, the question will no longer be whether we can compete. But where else in the world shall we take an indisputable competitive advantage…”
confusing state policies
(Confusing) State Policies
  • The State does not promote overseas employment as a means to sustain economic growth and achieve national development;
  • The deployment of OFWs by local service contractors shall be encouraged; appropriate incentives may be extended to them;
  • Comprehensive Deregulation Plan on Recruitment Activities -migration becomes strictly a matter between the worker and the employer
transnational communities of filipinos
Transnational Communities of Filipinos
  • Migration is a Global Phenomenon
  • Filipino out-migration will continue
  • The Filipino Diaspora will continue
  • Filipinos Overseas are an Integral part of the Filipino Nation
political empowerment of overseas filipinos the oav law must be defended and amended
Political Empowerment of Overseas Filipinos: The OAV law must be defended and amended.

RA9189, despite its flaws and limitations, for now, is a positive little step for the democratic participation of overseas Filipinos in the country’s political and electoral processes.