Being able to study in an environment that allows persons with disabilities (PWDs) study alongside their non-PWD counterparts would mean nothing if PWDs wouldn’t even be able to exercise their right: their right to suffrage.
Yet “there were still some cases where PWDs go home without casting their votes due to inaccessibility of some polling areas or lack of assistance from election board officers,” commented Dr. Maureen Mata from the Alyansa ng may Kapansanang Pinoy (AKAP) in a report.
This has been evident during the 2018 barangay elections.
“May kakulangan po talaga sa Comelec. Kulang na kulang po. Parang nakikita namin, 1 percent of the 100 percent that we are expecting from the government agency para ma-implement ‘yung mga patakaran,” she added.
As per the Comelec’s initial data, 270,082 PWDs and senior citizens registered to vote in 6,709 accessible clustered precincts in all regions nationwide, except for the Ilocos Region.
There are also 867 emergency accessible polling places (EAPPs) in NCR, CAR, Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, VII, and VII.
“Ang karapatan ng pagboto ay hindi magiging totoo habang ang mga magaaral na may kapansanan ay nakikipag-laban araw-araw sa isang kapaligiran na hindi siya kasali.” ~Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga
Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the ABS-CBN News
Note: During the 2016 national elections, an act that authorized Comelec to establish accessible polling places (APPs) for PWDs and senior citizens– Republic Act 10366–was implemented. It led PWD groups to dub the said election as the “first disability-inclusive elections in the history of the Philippines.”
Back in 2010, close to 1.5 million people of the total household population in the Philippines have been persons with disability. Most of them live in Region IV-A and most of them are men.
It was clarified in the report, though, that there were more men age 64 years old below interviewed than women in the same age group. There were also fewer men age 65 years old above because of the higher survival rate of women than men.
Unfortunately, the survey wasn’t conducted until after six years and its results weren’t readily available online till now; the PWDs were said to have refused participation “because the same samples was used by other household surveys conducted on the same quarter.”
The Philippine Statistics Authority, for its part, conducted the National Disability Prevalence Survey/Model Functioning Survey in 2016 to provide “detailed and nuanced information on how people conduct their lives and the difficulties they encounter regardless of any underlying health condition or impairment.” It would have helped “identify the barriers that contribute to the problems that people encounter which in turn help guide policy and development as well as contribute in monitoring Sustainable Development Goals.”
“There is still a heavy reliance on World Health Organization estimates that 10 percent of the country’s given population have some form of disability. The Department of Education claims that less than 3 percent of children and youth with disabilities have proper access to education, due to a lack of teachers trained to handle students with special needs and inadequate allocation of resources for educational materials in alternative formats to accommodate their needs.” ~ Maria Isabel T. Buenaobra
- The 2010 Census was released in January 10, 2013.
- The Region IV-A, otherwise known as Calabarzon, consists of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and Lucena.
- Males with disability outnumbered females in the age groups 0 to 64 years. The largest excess in the number of males was in the age group 0 to 14 years with a sex ratio of 121 males per 100 females. On the other hand, there were more females with disability than males in the age group 65 years and over. This is because of the higher survival rate of women than men. In this age group, there were 70 males with disability per 100 females.