|Brussels PE starts Field Voting for Seafarers|
BRUSSELS PE STARTS FIELD VOTING FOR SEAFARERS
Belgium, 15 April 2016 --- The overseas absentee voting team of the Philippine Embassy in Brussels proceeded to the international port of Antwerp on 14 April 2016 to conduct field voting for registered overseas voters - seafarers of vessels presently docked in Antwerp.
The first voter was 31-year old Messman Julius Bingil of the Greek-owned M/T Nedas who proudly stated that this is his second time to participate in the overseas elections.
Capt. Felimon M. Maranan Jr., shipmaster of the Panamanian M/V Santa Helena, joined other crewmembers in expressing disappointment that most of them are unable to vote because they failed to avail of the registration for overseas voting of seafarers which usually happens when they are on board or at sea.
Seafarers Cornelio D. Amit Jr. and Christian V. Gaborro, both oilers of M/V Santa Helena said that they are happy to have been registered when they have renewed their passports with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.
Fr. Jorgedy Bago, Chaplain of Seafarers and of the Filipino Community in Antwerp, and who diligently assists the Overseas Voting team by 'watching out' for incoming vessels with Filipino crew members, said that it's a pity that we can only find 1 or 2 registered voters among several crewmembers but agrees that it's all worth the effort to ensure that every registered voter, including seafarers, gets to exercise their right to vote.
There are 49,339 registered seafarers for purposes of the overseas elections all over the world.
Brussels PE has thus far received 344 mailed ballots and we encourage registered voters in Belgium and Luxembourg to vote.