Padaca ‘in limbo’ but keeps working | Inquirer News

Padaca ‘in limbo’ but keeps working

MANILA, Philippines—With her status as an election commissioner hanging as Malacañang remains silent on her reappointment after she was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments, Grace Padaca has taken to calling herself the “commissioner in limbo.”

Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca. FILE PHOTO

Padaca’s ad interim (temporary) appointment lapsed on June 11.

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But her predicament would not stop her from helping the Commission on Elections in its campaign to get persons with disabilities, or PWDs, to register for the 2016 presidential election.

“Even if I’m a Comelec commissioner in limbo, I’m breaking my silence to help get more PWDs to register and have their biometrics taken so they can vote in 2016,” Padaca told the Inquirer on Saturday.

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The biometrics data, consisting of a voter’s fingerprints, photo and signature, are aimed at cleaning up the agency’s list of registrants.

More than 10 million voters nationwide, including over 80,000 PWDs and senior citizens, still have no biometric records, hence, the need for an intensified campaign, said Padaca, herself a PWD. She uses crutches to help her walk after she contracted polio as a child.

“One vote of a poor, even unschooled PWD counts as much as one vote of a billionaire, well-schooled Filipino voter,” she said.

She vowed: “Whether I am a Comelec commissioner or not, I’ll continue to help make every Filipino’s vote count.”

Sunday has been declared by the Comelec as National Registration Day for Voters with Disabilities. Padaca said she plans to take part in the registration drive in Quezon City.

“Comelec Chairman (Sixto) Brillantes has announced that July 20 is set aside exclusively for PWDs so that they won’t have to compete with other sectors and Comelec personnel can fully attend to their needs and concerns,” she said.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they would like to see at least 120,000 PWDs register.

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“While registration may not be exclusively for PWDs on Sunday, we can assure them they will be given utmost priority in registration. They will be the focus that day,” he said.

The commission en banc has directed all election offices nationwide to designate accessible registration venues within their jurisdiction in coordination with PWD organizations.

Registration will be open in all Comelec offices from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The voter registration period runs from May 6 this year to Oct. 31, 2015.

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TAGS: Commission on Elections, Grace Padaca, Malacañang, Padaca, Persons With Disabilities, PWDs, senior citizens, Voter’s Registrations
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