Comelec enlists 24,000 PWDs for 2013 polls

By Anna Valmero

MANILA CITY, METRO MANILA—At least 24, 573 persons with disabilities (PWDs) registered and updated their records to be able to cast their ballot for the May 2013 midterm polls.

With almost a year before May 2013, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) expects the PWD registration to increase. There are at least two million PWD voters in the country.

The number is expected to increase with the introduction of special priority lanes for voter registration by Comelec and its partners including non-government organizations, local government units and government agencies.

“The campaign for the registration and updating of records of persons with disabilities is continuously creating ripples among the sector. We hope more PWD voters will be encouraged to enlist for the 2013 polls in our special centers,” said Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.

Sarmiento is focal person for Comelec in the Inter-agency and NGO Network on Empowering Persons with Disabilities and was the founding committee head when the project started for the May 2010 polls.

Based on the partial report of the Education and Barangay Affairs Department, Region VII tops the list with a total of 5, 256 PWD registrants followed by Calabarzon with 4,167 PWD voters, Bicol with 2,242 PWDs and Region VIII (2,238).

For the ARMM general registration, steps are made to encourage PWD registrants to go out and register. A full-blown campaign for PWD registration is expected late this year since a lot of stakeholders are participating and local partners are already established.

Earlier, Sarmiento proposed a special registration day for PWDs nationwide on August to strengthen the campaign for PWD voter registration.

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