Comelec to set up separate polling places for IPs
THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) will set up separate polling places and accessible voting centers for indigenous people (IP) in Occidental and Oriental Mindoro for the May 9 elections.
This was announced by Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia Thursday during the interagency meeting on empowering IP in the electoral process.
The project aims to address issues on the accessibility of polling areas, and on discrimination and threats commonly experienced by IP voters during Election Day, Guia said.
“The Comelec is determined to ensure that the coming polls is fully inclusive and truly responsive to the special needs of the vulnerable sectors in our society such as our indigenous peoples,” Guia said.
Accessible voting centers (AVCs) refer to newly established voting centers close to the communities while separate polling places (SPPs) are special voting areas inside regular polling precincts where IP can vote.
The poll body could only implement the project in Mangyan communities in Mindoro, benefiting almost 3,000 voters, due to limited time.
The Comelec said it sought to expand the coverage of SPPs and AVCs in other areas of the country where there are significant population of IP voters for the next elections. Tina G. Santos