PWDs calls for poll con­sid­er­a­tion

Sun.Star Baguio - - Front Page - Jonathan Llanes Sun*Star Re­porter

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.

Photo by Jean Ni­cole Cortes

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.

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