CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/25 April) — The special voters registration here for persons with disabilities will be on the third week of July, to coincide with the commemoration of PWD Week, city election officer Aleli Dayu-Ramirez said.
Then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada issued Proclamation 361 declaring “every third week of July as the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week which shall culminate on the birthdate of the sublime paralytic: Apolinario Mabini on July 23 each year.”
Most of the major cities in the island have already started the special registration of PWDs this month.
“We have opted to officially launch the special registration of PWDs in July because it is the month where they are more organized and are usually more active,” Dayu-Ramirez said.
She added they will hold the special registration at the ground floors of SM City in Masterson Drive, Upper Carmen and Limketkai Mall in Lapasan Highway.
From January to March this year, Dayu-Ramirez said only 22 PWDs had registered.
“I think almost all of the PWDs in the city have already registered last year,” she said.
Admitting that her office is severely undermanned, Dayu-Ramirez said they are doubling their efforts to compensate for the lack of personnel.
She also said that the Magna Carta for PWDs is relatively new to most of her personnel.
“That is why we are very grateful for the various partnership projects with civil society groups, PWD national federations and the mass media because we really appreciate all the help we can get since we are severely undermanned,” she said.
Of the 257,545 registered voters in the city’s 1,706 precincts, she said only about a hundred PWDs voted during the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on October 25, 2010.
In a nationwide survey held on December 3 to 7 last year by the Social Weather Station (SWS) on the “likelihood that PWDs would register in order to vote in the coming May 2013 Elections,” 27 per cent said they are “very likely” to register while 22 per cent answered “very unlikely.” (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)