Thursday, April 26, 2012


Section 7 of Republic Act No. 7277 provided as among the political and civil rights of (persons with disability) PWDs, their right to vote, including accessibility of polling places. The 1992 law, which was revised by RA 9442 in 2006, provided for the rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance of persons with disabilities and their integration into the mainstream of society.

 "The disability sector has been active in claiming their right to suffrage. PWDs themselves do not think of as disabled but those who view them as the invisible sector and minority affect how they perceive themselves and their capabilities, " said Maribel Buenaobra, Director of Programs at The Asia Foundation.

SWS survey found that among those who did not vote in the 2010 elections, 17% were ashamed to vote because of their disability, another 17% because of mobility problems, 16% because they were either sick or bedridden, and 10% because nobody would shade or read the ballots for them.

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said that "up to 2.6 million PWDs are qualified to vote in the midtem 2013 polls. That is a strong vote that candidates should consider and be accountable for after the polls," remark during the launch of the "Fully Abled Nation."

The DILG Chief added that "LGUs need look closely and pay attention to the needs of PWDs. Probably more of them will listen more if they know that they will vote" and "unless somebody accompanies the PWD voter, they will find it difficult and may fail to exercise their right to vote."
Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento, head of the Comelec Special Committee for PWDs  registration and voting spearheaded a National Registration Week exclusively for PWDs nationwide granting more access to PWD registration as voter.

We have noted judging from reports coming from other areas of the country that the following has been the identified problem in making the registration program successful.

1. Lack of information dissemination by the Commission on Elections and local officials, as well as the difficulties PWDs face in travelling from their residences to the registration area.

2. Lack of proper coordination, cooperation with agencies or groups concerned with PWDs.

3. Lack of logistics, manpower and  necessary funds for the purpose.

4. Lack of interest of other PWDs to register as they are ashamed of their situation.

Although we are not fully aware of any active PWD groups in the municipality, we respectfully ask or call on the existing non-government organization, civic volunteer organization, the local media to help participate in the advocacy of urging and motivating PWDs to exercise their right of suffrage, register and vote. A concerned PWDs representative is the most influential in persuading PWD to register  and vote.

This also is an opportunity for the municipal officials and barangay councils to prove their genuine concern to their constituents by helping and assisting PWDs in respective jurisdiction.

Inspite of the problems and obstacles, the local COMELEC office in the Municipality of Odiongan, Province of Romblon, gears up to hold a Special Registration exclusively for PWDs voters in every satellite registration centers in the municipality. In support and unity to the program endeavor. (See Schedule below)

With confident resolve that having the support and partnership of PWDs rights advocacy group, NGOs, CVOs, media, the local government units in terms of logistical problem, the municipal and barangay officials in educating and fostering PWDs right of suffrage, registration of PWDs in the municipality will not be an exercise in futility. Remember that PWDs are part and parcel of the developmental process in a society.

YEAR 2012

                     MAY   5 (Saturday)                       : Barangay Anahao, Malilico
                                                                               Registration Center (Anahao Barangay Hall)

                    MAY 12 (Saturday)                        : Barangay Prog. Weste, Prog. Este
                                                                              Registration Center ( Prog. Este Barangay Hall)

                    MAY 19 (Saturday)                        : Barangay Tulay, Mayha, Rizal, Taboboan
                                                                              Registration Center (Mayha Barangay Hall)

                    MAY 26 (Saturday)                        : Barangay Pato-o, Amatong
                                                                              Registration Center (Pato-o Barangay Hall)

                    JUNE 2 (Saturday)                         : Barangay Canduyong, Budiong, Bangon
                                                                               Registration Center (Budiong Barangay Hall)

                    JUNE 9 (Saturday)                         : Barangay Gabawan, Batiano, Poctoy
                                                                               Registration Center (Batiano Barangay Hall)

                    JUNE 16 (Saturday)                       : Barangay Tumingad, Libertad, Tuburan, Panique,
                                                                              Registration Center (Libertad Barangay Hall)


PWD’s Registration for Barangay Liwayway, Liwanag, Ligaya, Tabing-Dagat and Dapawan  shall be done at the Office of the Election Officer, located at Municipal Hall Building, Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm.


I am a Responsible and Principled Citizen.

I will educate myself and others about the issues at hand so that my vote is a meaningful and relevant exercise of my right of suffrage.

I pledge to vote for candidates who will abide by the duly constituted rules on campaigning because I understand that those who refuse to obey the law in the little things are not likely to obey the law in the more important things;

I pledge to vote for candidates who, by word and action, renounce violence, coercion, vote-buying, and corruption as means for getting elected;

I pledge to vote for the candidates who listen to their constituents and are responsive to the needs and aspirations of those they seek to represent;

I pledge to vote as my conscience dictates in all elections.

I make these promises freely and upon my honor.

(This Voter Pledge was read at the Unity Walk of 13 January 2013, by COMELEC Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph)