The Galaus sisters will turn 18 years of age two days before the 09 May 2016 elections.
MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday announced that twin Pinays have become its youngest overseas absentee voter registrants for the 2016 Presidential elections.
Twin sisters Cindy Claire and Wendy Graile Galaus submitted their applications for registration as overseas Filipino voters last August 5, 2014 at the Philippine Consulate General in Milan, Italy.
“They both believe that they must register as overseas voters to fulfill their obligations as Filipino citizens and to be able to have their say in choosing the next administration of the Philippine government," Consul General Marichu Mauro reported.
The Galaus sisters will turn 18 years old, two days before the May 9, 2016 elections. They joined their parents in Reggio Emilia in 2009 under the family reunification program of the Italian government. Their mother, Gloria, first arrived in Italy in 2001 and joined by their father, William, in 2007.
Under the law, all Filipino citizens who expect to be abroad during the thirty day (09 April – 09 May 2016) overseas voting period for the 2016 Presidential Elections, at least 18 years old on May 9, 2016, and not otherwise disqualified by law, may register as an overseas voter, at all Philippine Foreign Service Posts including the three (3) Manila Economic and Cultural Offices (MECO), Office of Consular Affairs, Macapagal Ave., ASEANA Business Park, and at other COMELEC approved registration centers outside of the Foreign Service Posts or in the Philippines.
“Their commitment to civic duty is admirable. I hope that this will help inspire the next generation of overseas Filipino youth to take up the challenge to do their share in the continuing task of strengthening our democracy by exercising their right to suffrage as overseas voters,” Office of Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis, who is concurrently Chairman of DFA-OVS, said.
Last June, for the first time in the 11-year electoral history of Philippine overseas voting, overseas voter registration (OVR) breached the one million mark.
“At the current pace of registration, we could have an overseas voter stock of over two million for the 2016 Presidential elections. Attaining this goal can definitely be a game changer,” Undersecretary Seguis, said.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections, on the recommendation of DFA-OVS, suspended overseas voter registration in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and the Gaza strip, in view of the deteriorating security situation thereat.
Despite the suspension of overseas voter registration activities at the various hotspots, DFA-OVS is confident that the goal of registering one million new overseas voters for the 2016 Presidential elections is attainable.