The Inbox

PWDs special registration turnout: high in Pasig, low in Pateros

PWD registration in Pasig

By Lloyd Reyes and Shiela May Aballa, VERA Files

Photos by Mario Ignacio IV, VERA Files

It was a study in contrast—the waiting area at the Pasig City Sports Center was filled with persons with disabilities (PWDs) waiting for their turn to file their voter's registration forms, while in Pateros, only a handful of PWDs showed up, leaving most seats unoccupied.

Pasig and Pateros represented two sides to the ongoing special voters registration for PWDs—Pasig a big city with 10 times the population of Pateros, Metro Manila's smallest town.

In Pasig, an intense push by the city netted 277 registrants during the half-day special registration, while in Pateros, it lasted four days but resulted in only 24 registrants.

During the special registration, PWDs may register, reactivate and validate their registration, transfer and update their records.

Lawyer Ma. Anne Gonzales, Pasig District I Election Officer, credited the nearness of the election period and a more intensive campaign that included putting up tarpaulin announcements in conspicuous places as well as information dissemination and orientations conducted in barangays for the high turnout of registrants.

She said Elections Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento, the focal person in the Inter-Agency and NGO Network in Empowering Persons with Disability, has emphasized the goal to empower PWDs so that their voices will be heard and their votes counted every election.

Gonzales said this year's number is unprecedented. In the July 2011 PWD registration, only two registered for District 1 while District 2 only had 10. Pasig has a total population of 617,301 as of 2007 statistics and registered voters of 368, 652 as of 2010.

On registration day on May 16, the Sports Complex housed in the Pasig City Hall was converted into a registration office for145 PWDs from District 1 and 132 from District 2 of the city. The basketball stadium served as a waiting area for the registrants and the lobby, the registration office.

In Pateros, the registration turnout was low despite the four-day special registrations, held on May 7 at the municipal lobby, May 11 and May 12 at the covered court of Barangay Sta. Ana where 70 percent of Pateros residents live, and May 19 in Barangay Sto. Rosario-Kanluran.

Pateros has 10 barangays and a population of 61,940 as of 2007. As of last elections, it had 39,860 registered voters.

Comelec tried its best to update the records of PWDs voters, but the move to raise awareness only started last year, acting election officer Enriqueta Danieles said.

As of the July 2011 Comelec records, Pasig had a total number of 631 registered PWD voters and Pateros had seven—one of the fewest numbers nationwide.

Special registrations in the National Capital Region are scheduled until August. (See complete schedule of NCR here.)

The spike of PWD voters' turnout in Pasig could also be attributed to the convenience of transportation provided by the of Abot-kamay ng mga may Kapansanang Pasigueño ang Tagumpay (AKKAPP) that tied up with barangays. The vehicles ferried PWDs to and from their barangays.

AKKAPP is not yet a registered disabled people's organization (DPO), but it has been visible in PWD-related events in the city.

Ricardo Delgado, AKKAPP coordinator of Barangay Sumilang, said his group chose to ask for support by providing the means of transportation instead of asking for funds.

Delgado, who had polio as a child, said that like the Comelec, AKKAPP also want PWD votes to count. PWDs have experienced difficulties in registration in the past particularly when flights of stairs needed to be taken just to get to their respective voting precincts, he said.

He said that 11 out of the 30 barangays in Pasig already joined the group while two barangays are still in the process of joining. He estimates that they already have signed up between 700 and 800 PWD members comprised of children as young as one to adults as old as 59. He said that those 60 and above are already tagged as senior citizens.

Corazon Derecho, whose right eye has been blinded because of retinal detachment, uses a cane because of fractures in her left leg, and wears a diaper because of urinary incontinence, is all praises for the PWD registration.

Despite waiting for three hours and the discomfort of prolonged sitting, she said the PWD registration initiative is their "100 percent wish" because registering and voting is for their own benefit.

The long wait to have her record updated is still a far better experience compared to voting in the second floor of an elementary school, she said.

During the Pateros registration, no DPO was present, but election officer Danieles said the local government planned for the four-day schedule to make the registration accessible to PWDs in the town.

Voting is a PWD's right according to Article V, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution that states "Congress shall also design a procedure for the disabled and illiterates to vote without the assistance of other persons. Until then, they shall be allowed to vote under existing laws and such rules as the Commission on Elections may promulgate to protect the secrecy of the ballot."

Special registrations were held in Visayas in March and  in Mindanao in April. For the entire month of May, schedules have been set for Luzon.

REGISTRATION DATES

CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region): Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mt.Province

Region I (Ilocos Region): Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan

Region II (Cagayan Valley): Cagayan

Region III (Central Luzon): Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac

Region IVA (Calabarzon): Cavita, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon

Region IVB (Mimaropa): Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan

(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 veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")

  • Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet
    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    When the first Earth Day was held in 1970, geologists were still putting the finishing touches on plate tectonics, the model that explains how the Earth's surface takes shape. For today's Earth day, here are some of Earth's biggest unsolved mysteries. Scientists think Earth was a dry rock after it coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. But the beginnings of Earth's water are shrouded in mystery because so little rock evidence remains from this time period. …

  • Angel calls birthday boy Luis ‘amazing’
    Angel calls birthday boy Luis ‘amazing’

    [caption id="attachment_130927" align="alignright" width="300"] Angel Locsin and Luis Manzano (Instagram)[/caption] Angel Locsin is extra sweet to boyfriend Luis Manzano today, with the latter commemorating his 33rd birthday. The actress authorized Sagip Kapamilya Foundation to auction the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, which is her dream car. …

  • Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom
    Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom

    By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - Miss America has suggested officials at a Pennsylvania high school reconsider their decision to suspend a student for approaching her at a school assembly and asking her to be his prom date, the beauty queen said on Saturday. The disciplinary action taken by school administrators in York against the 18-year-old senior made national headlines, and generated sympathy for the young man on social media. A video of Central York High School senior Patrick …

  • Vatican dismisses criticism of John Paul II over abuses
    Vatican dismisses criticism of John Paul II over abuses

    The Vatican on Tuesday brushed off accusations that late pope John Paul II was aware of and ignored allegations about sexual abuse carried by the Mexican founder of a powerful Catholic movement. "There is no personal implication of the Holy Father in this affair," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told a news conference on Sunday's ceremony to confer sainthood on popes John Paul II and John XXIII. The scandal over Marcial Maciel, who founded the Legion of Christ and was a serial predator, …

  • After Oppo, Here Comes Zopo
    After Oppo, Here Comes Zopo

    Oppo, a Chinese mobile phone brand, is bringing to the country the Find 7, Find 7a, Find 5 Mini, N1, R1, and the Neo. A few days after the brand’s launch, NOVO7Tech teased on its Facebook fan page the arrival of another Chinese label, Zopo Mobile. Based in Shenzhen, Zopo Mobile was established in 2012. …

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.

  • Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    LiveScience.com - Tue, Apr 22, 2014
    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    When the first Earth Day was held in 1970, geologists were still putting the finishing touches on plate tectonics, the model that explains how the Earth's surface takes shape. For today's Earth day, here are some of Earth's biggest unsolved mysteries. Scientists think Earth was a dry rock after it coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. But the beginnings of Earth's water are shrouded in mystery because so little rock evidence remains from this time period. …

  • David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    Associated Press - 5 hours ago
    David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Statement released by David Moyes on Wednesday, a day after being fired as manager of Manchester United after less than a season in charge. …

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    AFP News - 15 hours ago
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options