MANILA - With the help of crutches and her grandchildren, 82-year-old Valentina Bueno had to climb 2 flights of stairs so she could cast her vote for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
The octagenarian, whose polio-stricken legs were once trampled on by a carabao, beamed with pride as she shared that she had never missed a chance to vote.
"Basta sa akin mahalaga dahil alam ko Pilipino ako at marunong ako magsulat kaya ako ay botante,” Bueno told ABS-CBN News after voting at the Sta. Cruz Elementary School in Antipolo, Rizal.
(What matters to me is that I know I am a Filipino and I know how to write, that's why I am a voter.)
Bueno is among 78 million Filipinos registered to vote for the village and youth council elections Monday, where some 670,000 positions are up for grabs.
Voting, however, was not that easy for some voters.
At the President Corazon Aquino Elementary School in Quezon City, a man in crutches had to negotiate three flights of stairs to reach his voting precinct.
Another person with disability in Cebu City had to vote outside his precinct, which was at the second floor of the Guadalupe Elementary School.
Some voters, meanwhile, had difficulty finding their precinct assignments.
One woman fainted while searching for her precinct amid the sweltering heat at the packed Corazon Aquino school.
Another woman complained that the names of her late husband and son were still in the computerized voter's list.
Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez admitted in a press conference that not all voting areas would have priority lanes for the elderly and persons with disability.
Teachers serving as election officers, he said, should be on the lookout for the needs of voters.
-- With reports from Kevin Manalo, Kori Quintos, and Jaworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News