On May 9, 2022 (Monday), the Philippines will be holding a general election for the executive and legislative branches of the national and local government.
What does this mean?
It means that on May 9, the Philippines will be electing a new president.
It also means that on May 9, your OFS may ask to take a day off.
This day isn’t a regular holiday, but it is often declared a special non-working holiday to allow Filipinos to have ample time to go to the polls. Your OFS may ask to leave because the polling precincts are open for only 12 hours, from 6 am to 6 pm.
That’s not enough time to vote, considering they have to commute to the limited number of polling places and the inefficient voting process.
Here in the US, many places can serve as polling stations. Schools, churches, even private homes can serve as precincts if the government approves it.
However, in the Philippines, voting is done mainly in public schools. These schools would house several precincts. On election day, it can get crowded with thousands of people all going there simultaneously, causing traffic all over the country.
When they get there, finding their precincts and voting can take a lot of time. It might take longer to vote because you have to wait your turn in the polling booth. They could also encounter problems like not finding their name in the records, or they can’t find their precinct.
The Philippines does have mail-in and early voting, but this is only given to Filipinos overseas and frontline workers like public school teachers (who serve as poll workers), police and the armed forces (to maintain the peace), and medical personnel.
This is also a big election in the Philippines, making world-wide news. The son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos is running for president. A lot of people like him.