|Akyat Barko 2015|
PHILIPPINE EMBASSY GOES AKYAT BARKO FOR OVERSEAS VOTER REGISTRATION OF FILIPINO SEAFARERS
Brussels, 10 April 2015.--- The Philippine Embassy in Brussels registered thirty-eight (38) Filipino seafarers as it conducted its first 'Akyat Barko' outreach for the year on 7 April 2015.
The Embassy team, composed of Mr. Eric F. Rubas, Ms. Faith Bautista and Mr. Pol Sevilla, as they boarded M/V Blue Dragon and M/V Clipper Kamoshio which were then docked at the Port of Antwerp. M/V Blue Dragon has a full Filipino crew complement headed by Master Maurino Q. Llanes of Ilocos Sur . M/V Clipper Kamoshio is manned mostly by Filipinos and has Chief Mate Neil I. Asingua of Cebu as the highest ranking Filipino officer.
The team was assisted by Fr. Jorgedy Bago, Filipino chaplain for Seafarers based at Stella Maris in Antwerp, Belgium.
Master Llanes of the Blue Dragon expressed his appreciation for the registration effort and conveyed the seafarers' eagerness to register and vote during the next elections. All seafarers were likewise thankful that they will be able to vote anywhere in the world, especially with a lengthened voting period.
'Akyat Barko is a regular activity of Brussels PE to bolster its campaign for the overseas voting registration.
The Port of Antwerp is the biggest port in Belgium and the second biggest in Europe, after Rotterdam. In 2012, it handled 14,220 sea trade ships and 57,044 inland barges.
In 2013, Filipino seafarers number 460,000, 21% of the 2.2 million OFWs all over the world.
The Embassy will continue its cooperation with the Stella Maris Chaplaincy in Antwerp so it can continue to monitor vessels with Filipino seafarers, for purposes of the OAV registration exercise.