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Comelec relies on village officials for PWD registrations

By ARTHA KIRA PAREDES BANGUED, Abra—Not a single group working for the rights of persons with disabilities in this province has taken part in the campaign to promote PWDs’ right to suffrage but in this town, at least, village officials have taken up the cudgels for PWDs.

Sep 30, 2012

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By ARTHA KIRA PAREDES

The ground entrance to the provincial Comelec office is filled with posters inviting eligible voters to register. (Photo by ARTHA KIRA PAREDES)

BANGUED, Abra—Not a single group working for the rights of persons with disabilities in this province has taken part in the campaign to promote PWDs’ right to suffrage but in this town, at least, village officials have taken up the cudgels for PWDs.

Provincial Election Supervisor Mae Richelle Belmes said that as far as the capital town is concerned, the barangay captains have been attending Comelec-set meetings and have been encouraging the participation of PWDs in offsite registrations.

She said, however, that her office has not been in touch with any PWD group and Comelec does not know who to coordinate with because no PWD group is known to actively champion the sector.

But even without the organized effort from PWD groups, PWDs have been registering, updating and validating their records during offsite registrations conducted every Saturday and Sunday since November 2011.  Offsite registration has allowed more people to enlist, specially since the Comelec office of Bangued is on the second floor and has no ramp, and Bangued’s villages are located in mountainous areas.

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