Senior citizens, PWDs get accessible voting precinctsBy Kristine Angeli Sabillo
MANILA, Philippines – Senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWD) will no longer climb several flights of stairs to reach their voting precincts, according to a resolution passed by the Commission on Elections.
Comelec on Friday approved Resolution No. 9763 or the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 10366 authorizing the Commission to establish precincts in accessible polling places for PWDs and senior citizens.
Under the new rules, registered senior citizens and PWDs may choose to be assigned to an accessible polling precinct, making it easier for them to exercise their right to vote.
During the registration period, the applicants must specify their disability and the assistance they need on Election Day.
“In the event that no Person with Disability or Senior Citizen registered voter manifests an intention to be assigned to an accessible precinct, as stated in Section 7, they shall remain in their regular precinct but their polling places shall, whenever practicable, be located at the ground floor which shall be made compliant with the requirements of an Accessible Polling Place,” the resolution said.
Waiting areas will also be set-up near the polling place.
During the previous elections, media reports showed footage of PWDs or senior citizens having difficulty reaching their voting precincts. Some were forced to climb several flights of stairs while others gave up and left without voting.
The Comelec had also started using express lanes for registrant PWDs, senior citizens and heavily pregnant applicants.