The Inbox

PWD registrations push through after weeklong monsoon

Aug 11 Caloocan registration (VINCENT GO)

By Mikhail Franz Flores and Leilanie Adriano, VERA Files

Most local offices of the Commission on Elections pushed through with the voters' registration of persons with disabilities (PWD) last weekend despite the floods left behind by the monsoon rains in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

"I think the weather is cooperating with this sun coming out after days of raining," Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento who was at the registration at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral in Quezon City's District IV said.

Sarmiento said he and other stakeholders were relieved that their efforts paid off in preparing for the special registrations. "It's a big relief to all of us because our preparations weren't wasted," he said.

The Comelec moved the PWD voter registration day from July 21 to Aug. 11 to give way to the general voters' registration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).  The poll body suspended brought all voter registration machines and personnel to the ARMM, which needed to cleanse its voters' book.
Some areas, however, cancelled registration the Aug. 11 activities due to the adverse effects of the floods and rains. The announcement that Marikina, Valenzuela, San Juan and Pampanga will not push through with PWD registrations was made Friday.
Sarmiento said these are only isolated cases since registration is being done throughout the country. Registration in these areas will be reset to August 25, Sarmiento said.
"Ang mismong opisina ng Comelec ay pinasok [ng baha]. Ang mga PWDs, hindi makakalabas but isolated po ito (Even the Comelec office was flooded. PWDs could not go out, but these are isolated incidents)," he said.

At the end of the day, there were 21 PWDs who registered, transferred, reactivated and validated in District IV of Quezon City.

In Pasig, the registration was also cancelled because of continuous flooding in several parts of the city including the Sports Center where the registration was supposed to be held.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Pasig officer Yvette Montefalcon said Comelec will announce the new schedule later.

Pasig City Hall and its adjacent areas, including the public market, Justice Hall and a private school, have been flooded as early as Aug. 7, with waters reaching as high as the waist. The flood waters were at knee level as of Satuday.

While Comelec staff in Caloocan City's District II said they put effort into making known the registration schedule for PWDs, Rizalyn Rosas, president of the PWD Guardian Association Inc (PWDGAI) said they were not aware that special registrations for PWDs were being conducted that day. As of 4:30 p.m., only two of the 11 registrants were PWDs.

Outside Metro Manila, registrations also pushed through in the provinces of Pangasinan and Ilocos Norte.

As of 1 p.m., less than five PWDs registered in designated centers in Pangasinan because most areas were still flooded.

In Laoag, four PWDs registered at the ground floor of the City Hall. The number is an

PWD registration, Laoag City Hall.PWD registration, Laoag City Hall. (LEILANIE ADRIANO)

improvement from the zero turnout in last June's special registrations.

According to City Election Officer John Paul Martin, communication letters were forwarded to the City Social Welfare Office and the Office of Barangay Captains in Laoag City to help them disseminate the information to PWDs.

Aside from that, Josephine Silvestre, PWD coordinator of Laoag City said they also coordinated with local radio stations to accommodate in their public service announcement the August 11 National PWD Registration Day.

According to Martin, the COMELEC is not aiming to increase the number of PWD registration in Laoag City but to encourage them to vote. "It's useless if there is an increase in PWD registrants but during election time, they may not be able to vote. So aside from encouraging them to register, they should likewise be encouraged to vote," he said.

Based on records of the Laoag City Disability Affairs Office, there are 665 PWDs registered. This old record however is currently being updated, said Silvestre, as there was a recent two-day PWD registration last July for the updating of records and issuance of PWD IDs for free.

Silverstre said they expected a low turn-out PWD voter registration because most of the PWDs in Laoag City are bed-ridden, illiterate or they have no enough money for jeepney or tricycle fare.

The Federated Association of PWDs in Ilocos Norte however opined that the low turn-out of PWD voter registration may be attributed to lack of information drive from concerned authorities.

Jojo Llanes, the newly-elected president of the PWD federation, told VERA Files "some of our fellow PWDs are never informed of any special registration or if they may, it's already too late to grab the opportunity especially if no family member is available to company them on that day."   — additional interviews by  VINCENT GO, MYLAH REYES ROQUE and YOLANDA FUERTES-SOTELO

(VERA Files is a partner of the "Fully Abled Nation" campaign that seeks to increase participation of PWDs in the 2013 elections and other democratic process. Fully Abled Nation is supported by The Asia Foundation and the Australian Agency for International Development. VERA Files is put out by senior journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for "true.")

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • New law to allow Japan to supply U.S. military in South China Sea, say officials
    New law to allow Japan to supply U.S. military in South China Sea, say officials

    By Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly TOKYO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to expand Japan's non-combat role in armed conflicts beyond "areas around Japan" could see Tokyo becoming dragged into action in the South China Sea in support of U.S. forces, government and ruling party sources say. Abe will send legislation to parliament next month - with the backing of his coalition partners virtually assuring its passage - allowing Japan to ship fuel and ammunition to American units …

  • Philippines accuses China of turning water cannon on its fishing boats

    Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino and American Marines landed on a beach in a mock assault. The presidential palace in Manila said China's coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats. …

  • U.S. says if China used water cannons on Philippine boats, would be provocative'

    The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that if reports that China used water cannon son Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters are accurate, it would be a provocative step. Filipino activists have accused China's coast guard of turning water cannons on civilian boats in the disputed area on Monday. …

  • Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash
    Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash

    Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears. Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. …

  • ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’
    ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’

    The Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong believes that the “racist” statement of legislator Regina Ip against Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong is not reflective of the general sentiments of the Hong Kong community. Hong Kong is home to more than 173,00 Filipinos working mostly as household service workers. “They have left their loved ones back home to earn a decent living taking care of Hong Kong families. This, in turn, has engendered positive impact on both the quality of life …

  • SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low
    SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low

    “The Aquino administration is firmly determined to carry on and complete priority programs in all five pillars of the Philippine development plan, to ensure that reforms will be sustained by strengthened public institutions, to tread the righteous path and ensure that good governance becomes the norm at all levels of government, and to sustain and make permanent the gains from the transformation of mindsets and institutions,” Coloma added. Lawmakers expressed belief yesterday that the Aquino …

  • ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation
    ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation

    Manny Pacquiao’s face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses, and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero’s “fight of the century” nears. Pacmania is sweeping the nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. …

  • House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP
    House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP

    The House ad hoc committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will put police forces in the envisioned new autonomous Muslim region under the Philippine National Police (PNP), and not under the regional chief minister. “We will delete the provision in the draft BBL giving the chief minister operational, administrative and disciplinary control over police forces in the region,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, committee chairman, said in a television interview. He said under …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options