MANILA, Philippines - An alliance of senior citizens' organizations led by former Senator and broadcaster Eddie Ilarde is asking the Commission on Elections to put up special lanes for the elderly on Election Day.
In a meeting with Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes and Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, Ilarde explained senior itizens compose a significant block of voters, and that they need some special accommodations to ensure they are able to vote as conveniently as possible.
Ilarde had filed a petition making compulsory for all voting centers to allocate entrances, precinct booths and passages exclusively for senior citizens.
He said physical infirmities of senior citizens make it difficult or almost impossible for them to contend with the crowds during Election Day.
He said there are an estimated 8 million senior citizens in the country.
Sarmiento told the group that lanes for senior citizens and pregnant women were already implemented in some areas in 2010, and will be implemented nationwide in 2013.
Brillantes said he himself needs this because he is a senior citizen, expressing solidarity with the bloc.
He said small things like dedicated passages, as well as not requiring senior citizens to walk up to high floors in voting centers, go a long way for senior citizens.
Brillantes said senior citizens should get the courtesies even for registration.
He also thanked them for showing interest in the political affairs of the nation and for helping the Comelec.