H.E. MS. LOURDES O. YPARRAGUIRRE
Ambassador of the Philippines to the Republic of Austria
Laurenzerberg 2, A-1010 Vienna, Austria - 
Telephone:             (00 43 1) 533 24 01       Fax: (00 43 1) 533 24 01 24
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Dear H.E. Ms Ambassador,

Many thanks for your letter email responding to our request for a meeting with your Embassy Official in charge of Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) on Tuesday, 7 February, 4pm at your office.

In your letter, it explicitly manifested that there is no need for a meeting with us as everything connected with the OAV is now systematically working efficiently.

We beg to disagree with your observations as the result of the last  2010 Presidential Elections, for instance, it did not help at all with awareness-raising, voter education and the promotion of greater participation in the continuing registration for OAV.

Migrante International wherein Migrante Austria is an active chapter openly forwarded to the COMELEC suggestion on how we can address the very low turn out of registration and participation in the election.

Related to this, it will be of interest to note the following Migrante International statements:
“Overseas, Consulates and Embassies should conduct regular and accessible satellite and/or online registration in various OFW concentrations, such as tambayans, workplaces and housing facilities. Through this, OFWs would be spared extra costs and the effort of travelling long hours just to register.”
“The COMELEC must step up its voter education drive to encourage departing and overseas Filipinos to register as absentee voters. Correspondingly, a massive voter education drive will also be instrumental in encouraging those who are already overseas to register and, ultimately, to exercise their right to vote.”
“The COMELEC should also explore and be more open to coordination with various OFW organizations in this endeavor.”


“Likewise, Philippine Embassies and Consulates should give undocumented OFWs the chance to register and vote, regardless of their status. RA 9189 clearly states that “ALL citizens of the Philippines abroad, regardless of their immigration status, can participate in Philippine elections via the OAV.” However, because of lack of voter education and assurance of protection from the Philippine government, undocumented OFWs suffer disenfranchisement. The COMELEC and the DFA should find ways and enact policies that would encourage them to surface and participate without jeopardizing their status in their host country.”

In view of the above and in the interest Filipino migrants/ OFW’s, once more, we respectfully request your good office for a meeting  at your office and also at your convenient time, to discuss the following:
1. The systematic, wide-spread and accessible conduct of continuing OAV registration.
2. An urgent need to conduct a more massive voter education drive by the Embassy
3. Special attention  to vulnerable sectors


We shall be following up this request.

Your positive response will be highly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Elmo Carreon
Chairman, Migrante Sectoral Party- Austria Chapter
Stavangergasse 1/16/13
Vienna 1220 Austria, Europe
Telephone no:             +43 6767 948 686     
Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it