Sulong Dignidad Party-List president and first nominee Rico Quicho has asked that Commission on Elections (Comelec) should implement measures to make voting precincts more accessible to senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and those who have trouble with mobility.
“We always say that each vote counts. Let’s make our seniors and PWDs just how important their votes are,” said the lawyer in Filipino, highlighting Republic Act (RA) 10366 which authorizes Comelec to establish accessible polling places for PWDs and senior citizens; the effects of the law were first implemented in the 2016 national elections.
RA 10366 states that “polling places shall, whenever practicable, be located at the ground floor which shall be made compliant with the requirements of an APP”; but still during the previous elections, PWDs and seniors were discouraged from voting because of long queues, difficulty in finding their precincts, and received no assistance.
The lawmaker lauded Comelec’s current inclusive election but comments more work is needed. “Comelec should make sure that PWDs and seniors are assisted all the time, especially since a lot of our countrymen are still not familiar with this system),” said Quicho in a mix of Filipino and English. He suggest installing ramps, and providing more effective signages and deploying sign language interpreters.
A version of this story appeared on Manila Bulletin.