Binay wants elder, PWD-friendly 2016 elections
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay wants all polling precincts to be elder and persons with disabilities (PWD)-friendly by 2016 presidential elections.
Binay said this Tuesday due to the alleged failure of the Commission on Eelections to provide special precincts for all senior citizens and PWDs during last Monday’s barangay elections.
“We have to make sure that by 2016, our senior citizens and PWDs are encouraged to vote, and they are able to do so in a manner that will cause them as little stress as possible,” said the Vice President, who utilized the special lane for senior citizens and PWDs at the San Antonio National High School in Brgy. San Antonio, Makati when he voted last Monday.
Binay, who has been vocal about his plans to seek the presidency in 2016 has been an advocate of the rights of the elderly even during his time as mayor of Makati City providing additional benefits for senior citizens.
As Vice President, he allotted part of his P200 million annual Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the construction and repair of senior citizen centers all over the country.
He recalled the experiences of senior citizens and PWDs during the midterm elections in May, which he said led to the low voter turn-out from the sector.
“Last election, many senior citizens and PWDs were unable to vote because in some cases the precincts were located in the fourth floor,” Binay said in a statement.
“Children of senior citizens who had finished voting would dissuade their parents, saying the conditions were unbearable considering their fragile health,” he added.
Binay earlier criticized the Comelec as National Council on Disability Affairs executive director Carmen Zubiaga’s claimed that only two out of the 36,778 polling centers in the country were designated as pilot Accessible Polling Places for PWDs and the elderly.
He, however, expressed hope that the policy of setting up special precincts for the elderly and PWDs will soon be implemented in all polling areas.
“At least now you can read in the papers that some areas already have special precincts,” he said.
He noted that senior citizens in Barangay San Antonio in Makati, where he resides, are now more willing to vote because of a special precinct for them.
“Now that a special precinct has been set aside for them, they are more eager to participate in the elections,” said Binay.
Meanwhile, Binay commended the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and other volunteers who were on hand during the elections to help senior citizens and PWDs.
Binay is the national president of the BSP.