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Phl Embassy in Russia sends field voting teams in Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Monday, May 13th, 2019

Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta has once again denied reports that the number of ballots and other election paraphernalia is not enough for the registered voters in Russia, as well as, the other states of Armenia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Ambassador Sorreta stated that the primary problem they encountered is the distance of each country from Russia and that the Filipinos in these countries are scattered. He assured, however, that the number of ballots and election paraphernalia is enough to cover all the Filipino voters.

Aside from sending ballots through the mail, Sorreta said that the embassy has also sent field voting team to assist the Filipino voters in selecting their bets.

He added that, “Mayroon din tayong consular services na binigay. So marami po tayong nakuhang botante. Yun ho yung pinaka malaking problema. Tungkol naman po sa mga gamit, kumpleto naman po ang mga balota at mga parepernalya at mga form na pinadala ng Comelec. Yun lang po ang problema at napakalaki po ng Russia at kalat po ang Filipino sa Russia sa Armenia tsaka sa Kazakstan at sa Belarus.”

[We also provide consular services. And we have recorded a large number of voters. That’s the biggest problem. As for the (election) materials, the ballots, forms, and other paraphernalia that Comelec sent are complete. The problem is that Russia is so big and Filipinos are scattered in Armenia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.]

Russia has a total number of 2,082 registered overseas Filipino worker (OFW) voters and the majority of them are in Moscow, while the others are based in Saint Petersburg, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Yakutsk.

The embassy expects that Monday’s voter turnout will increase as this is also the last day of the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV), which started on April 13. (with reports from Catherine Martinez, UNTV Moscow) /mbmf

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DFA to stop issuing authentication certificates starting May 14

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has advised the public that it will no longer issue authentication certificates starting Tuesday next week.

This is in accordance with the Apostille Convention on Authentication of Documents that will take effect in the Philippines on May 14, 2019.

“After authentication by the DFA, there is no more need for authentication (legalization) by the concerned Foreign Embassies or Consulates General if the country or territory of destination of the authenticated document is already a member of the Apostille Convention,” DFA said in an advisory Tuesday (May 7).

Instead, the agency will affix an “Apostille” or a certificate giving a public document a legal effect for use in other countries.

Meanwhile, documents issued in Apostille member countries and territories (except Austria, Finland, Germany and Greece) which will be used in the Philippines no longer need authentication from Philippine Embassy or Consulate General once Apostillized.

The DFA clarified, however, that public documents coming from countries and territories not part of the Apostille Convention need to undergo the previous authentication process.

READ: List of Apostille-contracting parties

“Documents still have to be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General before they can be used in the Philippines,” the advisory said.

“Also, there is still a need for authentication (legalization) by the concerned Foreign Embassies or Consulates General if the country of destination of the authenticated document is not yet a member of the Apostille Convention,” it added.

Authentication fees will remain at P100 for regular processing and P200 for expedited processing per document. – Marje Pelayo

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DFA raises alert level 3 in Tripoli, Libya

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday raised the alert level from two to three in Tripoli and nearby districts amid the escalating violence in Libya.

“I have raised the alert level in Libya to 3 but only for Tripoli and adjacent districts plus a 100 km radius,” DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. announced in his official Twitter account.

The Philippine Embassy in Libya said the alert level covers Filipinos working and living in Tripoli, as well as in Tahoura, Ghot Romman, Qaraboli, Qasr Khiyar, Esbea, Tarhuna, Bani Waled, Gharyan, Aziziya, Warshifana, Zawia, Surman and Sabratha.

Alert level 3 or voluntary repatriation phase means that Filipinos working in the specified areas but are currently in the Philippines will not be allowed to travel back to Libya until the situation returns to normal.

In an advisory, the embassy renewed its call to Filipinos working within the 100-kilometer radius of the Libyan capital to observe extreme caution and avail of the government’s offer of repatriation amid escalating tensions.

The department has assured to extend assistance to Filipinos who will avail of the repatriation program.

For Filipinos who chose to stay, the embassy has asked them to move to safer locations and to stay away from areas where fighting is taking place.

The DFA also strongly advises Filipinos “against taking part or even going near any public demonstrations or armed formations” and from making comments on social media about Libya’s political situation.

Filipinos in need of emergency shelter are also urged to call the embassy for assistance.

“The Embassy will remain open to respond to requests for assistance from Filipinos who might be affected by the fighting,” the DFA said.

There are 1,000 Filipinos in Tripoli and nearby areas, based on DFA’s estimates.

For urgent assistance, Filipinos in Libya may contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli through the number +218-91-824-4208 or through the official Facebook page of the Philippine Embassy in Libya. – Robie de Guzman

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Comelec sees completion of ballot printing earlier than scheduled

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Printing of ballots at the National Printing Office

QUEZON CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) — The Commission on Elections has announced that the printing of ballots will be completed earlier than the scheduled deadline of April 25.

The poll body reported that they have already printed close to 20 million ballots as of Monday (March 4).

They are now preparing for the printing of ballots that will be used in Region 8 or the Eastern Visayas.

Comelec Spokesperson, Dir. James Jimenez, stated that the said number represents around 30 percent of the total ballots needed for the elections, with peak of production of 1.1 million a day.

Jimenez added, “the National Printing Office (NPO) is scheduled to add another printer and we expect to finish early.”

The NPO has been on a 24/7 operation to meet the target number of 61 million ballots to be used in the May elections.

The poll body hopes that the ballot printing will be finished 10 day before the target date.

The Office for Overseas Voting (Comelec-OFOV) has confirmed receiving the three million ballots that will be used in the different countries with registered Filipiino voters for the Overseas Absentee Voting from April 13 to May 13, 2019. – Maris Federez (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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