Angara pushes for exclusive polling precincts for senior citizens, PWDs
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara has called for the immediate approval of a bill that seeks to authorize the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to establish polling precincts exclusive for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens.
Angara was pertaining to his Senate Bill No. (SBN) 777 filed in July 2022. To date, the bill remains pending in the committee.
“The approval of this is long overdue and should already be implemented in the next election,” said Angara in a statement released on Thursday.
Angara explained that his call for the immediate approval of the measure comes after the pilot implementation of an early voting scheme for senior citizens and PWDs during the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) held on October 30.
“Nakakalungkot ang mga balita na marami pa din ng mga seniors natin ang pumila ng matagal na panahon sa mga presinto at kinailangan pa umakyat ng ilang palapag para lamang bumoto. Kung maisasabatas ang panukala natin ay magiging mas madali at mas komportable para sa mga seniors at pati na din ng mga PWDs ang bumoto sa panahon ng halalan,” said Angara.
(It is sad news that many of our seniors also queued for a long time at the precincts and had to climb several floors just to vote. If our proposal is enacted, it will be easier and more comfortable for seniors and also PWDs to vote during the election.)
Angara also noted that Comelec Chairperson George Garcia urged Congress to pass a measure allowing the vulnerable sectors to vote ahead of scheduled elections.
Under Angara’s SBN 777, seniors and PWDs can vote for no less than two days within 15 days before election day.
If the bill is enacted into law, Comelec will also be mandated to designate precincts “as accessible polling places” for the exclusive use of PWDs and seniors.
“The bill will amend Republic Act No. 10366 or the law that authorizes the Comelec to establish precincts assigned to accessible polling places exclusively for PWDs and senior citizens,” said Angara.
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