GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/1 May) – In a bid to enlist persons with disabilities (PWDs) to take part in the 2013 mid-term elections, the Commission on Elections office here has brought the registration down to the barangays, an official said.
But even then, at least 11 PWDs have registered from the start of the year until last week, local Comelec data showed last Thursday.
Clint Vincent Dumaguit, Comelec election assistant officer II, said they actually began bringing the Comelec registration down to the barangay level in May last year not just to serve the PWDs but the general public as well.
“Some PWDs have the tendency to be ashamed to go to our office so we come to the villages to make the registration easier for them,” he said.
On normal days in the Comelec office at the back of the old city hall building, he added that they give special priority to differently-abled persons through the “PWD lane” especially when the lines are long.
The local Comelec office also accords special accommodation to pregnant women and older persons applying to become registered voters, Dumaguit said.
Special registration for PWDs in the city started on April 2 until April 30, with intermittent off days.
The venue should have been at the first floor of the old city hall building but the city Comelec, aside from bringing it to the barangay level, hold the special registration at its office in the second floor at the back of the city hall building.
General Santos has 26 barangays and so far the PWDs who registered came from the six villages of Buayan, Calumpang, City Heights, Fatima, Katangawan and Labangal, Dumaguit said.
He said they went to the villages with the support of the barangay governments, although there were some who did not lend help due to scarce resources.
With the latter case, Dumaguit said they just forego that barangay unit.
But he hoped that PWDs who did not come out for the special registration would enlist themselves as the Comelec has a continuing registration until October 31, 2012. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)