Comelec told not to make it hard for senior citizens this May polls



By Rose de la Cruz


Rep. Francisco G. Datol, Jr. of the Senior Citizen partylist, asked the Commission on Election and its citizens arm not to make it tough for the elderly to find their precincts this May election, which could disenfranchise them.


Reacting to Comelec Resolution 10486 Datol said this measure is “matino; sana maipatupad din ito nang matino sa araw ng botohan.”


Systematic disenfranchisement of senior citizens on election day May 13 could be among the desperate measures some politicians and their cohorts could resort to, he warned.


Datol said "the elderly are vulnerable to deliberate efforts to cause them not to vote or keep them from finding their precincts, so the burden of thwarting such orchestrated efforts is on the Comelec and its citizen's arms.


"Huwag na sanang pahirapan ang seniors sa May 13. Kung ang regular na presinto nila naroon pa sa itaas na palapag, sa ground floor lang dapat sila at dalhin na lang sa kanila ang mga balota na naka-assign para sa seniors. Hinimok ko ang Comelec na gawin ito para madali makaboto ang seniors," he added.


Datol, a member of the House committee on electoral suffrage, also said the Commission on Elections Resolution 10486 on ease of voting for seniors, PWDs, and heavily pregnant women "looks great on paper. I asked them to update the regulations but given how hot election day could be on May 13, I hope and pray it is executed consistently nationwide."


Datol was among the members of the joint congressional oversight committee in the May 2019 elections composed of seven senators and seven congressmen. Datol pushed strongly for the ease of voting for PWDs, pregnant women, and seniors that led to the creation a special committee within Comelec that looked after the interests of PWDs, pregnant women, and seniors. The special committee's output is the Resolution 10486 approved by en banc.


"In the past there were still some seniors who had to go up and down stairs, while others got lost and were unable to vote," he said.


He explained that using its computerized database now, Comelec can determine who among the registered voters are seniors, "so a special list of senior voters can be generated and printed out, so seniors can find their special precinct which should be at the most conveniently accessible rooms in a school or designated shopping mall," Datol said.


Datol explained that seniors can vote in their regular precinct, if they want to.


"Pero mas mabuti na basta senior diretso agad sa pinakamadaling puntahan na presinto at alagaan sila nang mabuti. Kung mainit ang panahon, dapat mayroong tubig at first aid team na agad makaka-responde. El Niño summer pa naman ngayon," Datol said.


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Monday, 18 November 2019
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