PWDs, seniors struggle to vote in Manila
For some persons with disability (PWDs) and elderly voters at P. Burgos Elementary School in Manila, casting their vote for the 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections proved to be a struggle on Monday.
Their struggle was in getting to their assigned precincts.
Luis Gonzales, of Sampaloc, Manila, told INQUIRER.net that his precinct number was 371 — a room located on the third floor of the SPED building.
According to him, he was hoping to see some Commission on Election (Comelec) officials in order to request to just vote on the ground floor.
“May mga official naman siguro doon, di ba? Siguro papakiusap na lang kung pwede sa baba na lang ako bumoto,” he said.
“Kasi papanik pa ako at baba, mahihirapan ako. Nakakahiya din na bubuhatin pa ako,” Gonzales, a 53-year old voter, added.
Despite Gonzales’ condition, he said that one of the qualities of the Barangay candidate is to change the system in his barangay.
“Baguhin naman nila ang sistema, ilang taon nila sila makakasama eh. Kumbaga, challenge sa kanila,” he said.
As for the case of Zenaida Piscos, going up to the third floor was not a problem.
For Piscos, 79, her only concern was that she wanted to be sure of her precinct number before climbing up to the third floor.
“Okay naman, kaya naman, makaka-akyat naman ako. Basta sigurado lang saan ako boboto,” Piscos said in an interview.
She also said that voting in the barangay elections was important to ensure that the publics’ needs were addressed.
Just like Gonzales, Piscos was looking forward to having barangay officials who would show concern for residents and work for positive change in their communities.
She said she also wanted someone who could correct the wrong things in her barangay, like minors who roam the streets after 10 p.m.
“Gusto ko na yung mga wala sa lugar, sawayin na agad nila,” she said.
In an earlier interview, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that PWDs and senior citizens would have priority lane access during the elections.
“Under our general instructions, may priority lane access ang mga senior citizens, PWDs – meaning yung ready to go,” Jimenez said.
Poll watchers assisted the elderly and people with special needs to go their assigned rooms.
A poll watcher who did not want to be named said that officials were ready to assist those who needed help.
“Naka-assist naman kami lalo na sa matatanda na kailangan ng guide para makaboto,” she said
“Tinutulungan din natin sila para mahanap kung saan sila naka assign para po hindi sila pabalik balik,” she added. /cbb
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