Fil-Am voters race to beat OAV registration deadline

NEW YORK – It took Filipino American Michael Dadap nearly a year to reacquire his Filipino citizenship.

“I was really excited to become a dual citizen and Filipino, for one reason and only one reason: Just to be able to participate and vote and make my choice of who our leaders will be,” Dadap said

A naturalized US citizen for about 17 years, he needed to show proof that he is a former Filipino.

But the classical guitarist said his birth records were destroyed by a typhoon in the 1950s and his only proof now is an expired Philippine passport issued in the 90s.

“I insisted that if I have a passport, a Philippine passport, that should be sufficient enough as a document that I was a natural born Filipino,” he said.

Through persistence and a signed affidavit, he was sworn in as a dual citizen and is now a registered overseas absentee voter.

“I’m doing this on behalf of many Filipinos who were disenfranchised to vote just because of certain requirements that our government is doing that sometimes are not reasonable for many Filipinos,” he said. “Reacquire your citizenship because who cares for our country except us.”

Dadap is among the 1.3 million registered overseas Filipino voters. That’s out of the 8 million potential Filipino voters abroad.

The deadline for OAV registration is Oct. 31.

Philippine Consul General Mario De Leon said, “Register no matter what your political preference is and no matter who you want to vote for. The important thing is we register, we vote in the Philippine elections which is very important. That will define the future of our country in the next six years.”

Herminio Magante, a Bayonne, N.J. resident and dual citizen, said, “Kung sakaling pumalpak ang aking binoto aba’y at least pwede kang magsalita. Ngaw-ngaw ka ng ngaw-ngaw ,tapos hindi ka naman bumoboto? What’s the use man?”

Overseas Filipino citizens who are at least 18-years-old on election day, May 9, 2016, are qualified to register at the nearest Philippine Consulate.

Applicants must show proof of citizenship such as a valid Philippine passport, or a US permanent green card, and have their applications and biometrics taken in person.

Philippine Consul Kerwin Orville Tate said, “Mahigit isang taon na pong bukas yung desk ng konsulado pero hinihikayat pa rin po natin habang may oras pa.”

Consul Tate says, about 4,000 registered OAVs who did not vote in two consecutive elections may be deactivated unless they visit their consulate to reactivate their voting records.

For more information, voters may contact their nearest Philippine Embassy or consulate.

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  • Yellow Buster
    16 October 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Mga Filipino talaga mahirap intindihin (Gener-Med Acob, 2010). Papunta-punta dito sa states at mag-citizen daw, mamaya BUMA-BALIMBING naman pay sinumpong…Tapos kung hindi nakuha ang gusto, ayan babalimbing na naman. Ngayon kung mahirapan na naman, kasalanan na naman ang presisente…haay buhay siyoki kagaya ni Tito Herminio Magante…