Senator Alan Peter Cayetano batted for accessibility during elections, saying legislation may be crafted to allow the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to identify and assign persons with disability (PWDs), senior citizens, and pregnant women to vote in permanent designated areas.
“I agree that some sort of legislation [is needed] to allow the Comelec na bunutin sa voters list lahat ng mga PWD. Para pag-register pa lang nila, ilalagay na nila doon sa list,” Cayetano told reporters who had asked him to weigh in on how to make voting easier for the elderly and handicapped during Monday’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).
“At kung sakali man, you can change your registration sa Comelec na PWD ka na. Para bago ka pa pumunta sa school, doon pa lang sa precinct finder, alam na ng principal at saka ng mga teachers kung ilan ang PWD talaga,” he added.
Cayetano noted that a law is already in place to make all buildings PWD friendly in the country, referring to the Accessibility Law or Batas Pambansa No. 344.
“May legislation na about all public buildings na maging PWD-friendly, so kung iyan ay mai-inspect year in-year out, hindi dapat ganoon kahirap doon sa mga meron na hindi ba? To be fair kay Chairman George (Garcia) sa Comelec ngayon, napaka-progressive, napaka-aggressive nila,” he said.
He however said that the Comelec should do something about facilities that are not yet fitted to be PWD- friendly.
“There’s a difference between palusot and excuse hindi ba? So ibig sabihin ‘pag pumunta ka sa isang public building tapos wala talaga silang room sa baba, rampa, elevator, then sila [Comelec] mismo ang dapat gagawa ng makeshift, hindi ba? Napakarami na rin nating schools na may elevator,” he said,
Cayetano pointed out that the ground floor can be given to such persons so they can vote with ease. “Meron talaga dapat tayong ‘no palusot’ policy. Theoretically, kung ilalagay mo lahat ng boboto na may dahilan like buntis, PWD at, senior doon sa harap, they will walk much less,” he said.
He also opened up the idea of the Comelec considering PWDs, including teachers, to cast their votes a day before election day.
“It would be really much more convenient kung the day before pwede nang bumoto ang senior at PWD. Even for the principals and the teachers. May special lane na sana for them,” he said. ###