The House of Representatives approved a house bill that allows senior citizens and persons with disabilities to vote 7 days early before the set date of elections.
The House of Representatives approved at committee level House Bill (HB) 3474 allowing early voting for seniors and persons with disabilities (PWDs) seven days before the scheduled election dates.
Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes Jr., the bill's author, said that HB 3474 was passed on Wednesday by the Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms
“Current measures where assistance is given to them on election day proper is almost impossible to execute given the sheer number of voters which our Commission on Elections must accommodate.” Ordanes said in the explanatory note.
The bill is attuned to the Constitution's mandate, which states that the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children must be prioritized.
Promoting a more participatory election from all sectors and enhancing political representation in the country by ensuring a conducive environment for them to vote will help in securing a robust Philippine democracy.
HB 3474 provides early voting so that seniors and PWDs can choose to cast their ballot at any accessible establishments designated by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) within seven working days before the date set for elections.
It also provides a nationwide registration for seniors and PWDs to qualify them to avail themselves of the early voting privilege. Those who are not registered under the bill will vote on election day.
COMELEC shall be tasked with the following:
· Keep a record of senior citizens and PWDs who are registered, voters
· Design a registration system, in coordination with local government units, the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the Department of Health (DoH), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), that allows senior citizens and PWDs to register and opt for early voting
· Ensure that polling places are safe and accessible to senior citizens and PWDs, and properly fitted with the necessary communication, visual and physical aids, as mandated under Republic Act No. 10366 entitled, “An Act Authorizing the COMELEC to Establish Precincts Assigned to Accessible Polling Places Exclusively for Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens”
· Mount an intensive information campaign on early voting for qualified senior citizens and PWDs
Tags: #House, #Seniors, #PWD, #Voting, #Election