Comelec backs early voting bill: official


Posted at May 10 2023 05:32 PM

A senior citizen casts her vote in the May 2022 national elections in Quezon City. File/Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A senior citizen casts her vote in the May 2022 national elections in Quezon City. File/Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Commission on Elections on Wednesday said it supports the measure for the early voting of qualified senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), lawyers and human resources for health in national and local elections.

Comelec Spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said they would be prepared to implement early voting hours for the upcoming Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and barangay elections in October. 

If this will be implemented, the elderly, pregnant women, and PWDS will vote exclusively vote between 5 am and 7 am. 

"Sinusuportahan ng Comelec ang early voting bill para sa ating mga senior citizens, PWDs kasama na po iyong human resources for health at lalung-lalo na po sa mga abogado... Ito ay para sa kanila upang hindi makasabay sa botohan na regular," said Laudiangco. 

"Kung sakali man po hindi sila umabot dito, nakahanda ang Comelec na magtatag ng dalawang paraan: Una po iyong priority sa pagboto. Priority po iyong ating vulnerable senior sa pagboto, hindi na po sila kailangang pumila, uunahin na namin sila; ikalawa, iyong pagtatag ng emergency accessible polling place," he added. 

The Comelec official though was asking for additional funds for this. 

Laudiangco said it was important to consider that Comelec would need additional registration centers dedicated for senior citizens, PWDs, lawyers at human resources on site who want to avail of early voting because schools could not be used during this period. 

There should also be additional honoraria for teachers rendering services for the early voting registration. 

"Isa pang karagdagang hiniling ng pondo ay para sa pagko-constitute ng karagdagang electoral board kasi hindi puwedeng matali nang matagal sa election service iyong ating mga teachers dahil maabala nga po ang kanilang pagtuturo," he said. 

"Kami ay buong pusong sumusuporta, humihingi lamang po kami ng karagdagang pondo para doon po sa maayos po nating ipatupad ang early voting," he said. 

The House of Representatives this week approved the measure on third and last reading. 

The bill mandates a a nationwide registration for senior citizens, PWDs, lawyers, and human resources for health to qualify them to avail of this early voting privilege. 

Those who are not registered shall vote with the rest of the eligible population on election day. 

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Video from PTV