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Comelec puts up pilot polling places for PWDs, senior citizens

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set aside four accessible polling places for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) during the conduct of the October 28 barangay elections.

Commissioner Grace Padaca said the Comelec has prepared four pilot areas—one each in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and National Capital Region—in preparation for the full implementation of the recently signed Republic Act 10366.

The law authorizes the Comelec to establish PWD- and senior citizen-friendly polling places at each voting center.

"For the barangay elections, gusto naming magkaroon kami ng experience bago ang full implementation for 2016 elections," Padaca, herself a PWD, said.

In their implementing rules and regulations of the law, Comelec said each accessible precinct should accommodate a maximum of 200 voters.

Padaca said the pilot areas will be located in the SM branches of the following barangays:

National Capital Region - SM City Manila, Barangay 659, Manila
Luzon - SM City Lipa, Barangay Sabang, Lipa City, Batangas
Visayas - SM City Cebu, Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City
Mindanao - SM City General Santos, Barangay Lagao, General Santos City

The Comelec consulted with PWDs and senior citizens in the areas to register them for the pilot areas, Padaca said. The PWDs also indicated the type of disability and the assistance they would need during the elections.

PWDs and senior citizens were given the choice to vote in the pilot area or in the regular polling place, Padaca said.
Senior citizens need not bring their senior citizens' card since they should be registered in the Comelec database, poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. said.

Around 54 million voters are expected to vote in the Oct. 28 barangay polls.

The Comelec has set aside 170,603 clustered precincts for the barangay polls. There are 42,028 barangays in 80 provinces across the country. — BM, GMA News