PWDs calls for poll consideration
THE FEDERATION of Persons with Disability in Baguio City called on the Commission on Elections to consider their plight during the conduct of the 2019 midterm elections.
John Paredes, president of the PWD federation explained at present, polling precincts in all the 128 barangays are not PWD friendly.
“All barangays should have accessible precincts for persons with disabilities which is lacking here in the city. I think this is doable since what we want to have is reasonable accommodation or the most accessible room for persons with disabilities to vote,” Paredes explained.
Republic Act no.10366 authorizes the Commission on Elections to establish precincts assigned to accessible polling places exclusively for persons with disabilities and senior citizens.
Section 1 of the Republic Act or the Declaration of Policy said the State shall ensure persons with disabilities and senior citizens are able to exercise their right to political participation without discrimination or restrictions. Towards this end, the State shall design systems and procedures that will enable persons with disabilities and senior citizens to register and vote by themselves.
Under Section 2, accessible polling place refers to the venue where the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) conducts election-related proceedings and
where the voters cast their votes.
The accessible polling place should be located at the ground floor, preferably near the entrance of the building, and is free of any physical barriers and provided with necessary services, including assistive devices. “We are also asking Comelec for the possibility of the children of those visually impaired to vote for them since they are considered to be apolitical since they do not choose specific candidates,” Paredes added.
UNDER SCRUTINY. The Commission on Election in Baguio City headed by lawyer John Paul Martin checks certificate of candidacy (COC) forms for the upcoming May 2019 elections. Members of the persons with disability in the city are calling for a PWD friendly polling precincts.