The executive director of the National Council with Disability Affairs is calling on all persons with disabilities (PWDs) who are qualified to vote in the next year’s election to avail themselves of the special registration on August 11, 2012.
Ms. Carmen Zubiaga said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) registration for PWDs is pursuant to the commission’s Minute Resolution 12-0624.
“Considering that two (2) important mechanisms will be implemented by the Comelec for the May 13, 2013 elections, viz: (i) assignment of polling places with PWD voters to the ground floor; and (ii) establishment of accessible polling places in selected voting centers where PWD voters are numerous, data on PWD voters are necessary,” Zubiaga explained on the importance of accomplishing PWDs Supplementary Data document of the Comelec.
The Comelec said its local offices in the country (except Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao) will participate in the said event to encourage PWDs to register and update their records by accomplishing the Supplementary Data portion.
Special registration centers will likewise be designated to make the registration more accessible.
Zubiaga said the registration was a product of her sector’s previous activities of reminding the Comelec to highlight the right to suffrage of PWDs.
“This can be attributed to the clamor of PWDs to be provided an accessible electoral process — from registration to election day,” she said.
Zubiaga noted that a lot of civil society groups, in partnership with COMELEC and other government agencies such as the National Council with Disability Affairs, have championed the rights of PWDs and conducted fora, road shows, workshops and consultations to better understand the needs of PWDs, causes of their disenfranchisement and how this could be addressed in the coming elections.
For more information on the National PWD Registration Day, please log on to www.pwdrighttosuffrage.wordpress.com or email pwdcomelec@gmail.com or call (02) 5272767.
Zubiaga was the information officer of the Municipality of Taytay before she was appointed director of the National Council with Disability Affairs.