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Nationwide online voters’ registration for PWDs pushed



LAST week’s launch of an online voters’ registration platform is a significant step towards assisting persons with disabilities (PWD) in the capital and will go a long way if coverage would be nationwide.

“We hope that online registration will cover persons with disabilities nationwide, but we understand that pilot testing is important before embarking on a bigger scale,” said Carmen Zubiaga, Director of the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Oct. 20 unveiled the iRehistro Project, an online voters’ registration portal designed to allow voter registrants to accomplish forms online.

The site is supposed to make voter registration easier by providing applicants the flexibility to register at their convenience. It also aims to lessen queuing time in Comelec offices, which would help PWDs.

But iRehistro is currently only available for applicants in the National Capital Region (NCR), and starting November 3, for registrants at the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, Spain.

The iRehistro portal has specific features that cater to the needs of PWDs. Applicants are first prompted with this notification before they can proceed with filling out the form.


Then those who click on the option “Fill-Up PWD-Friendly Form” can fill out a portion on the right side of the online application form specifically for PWDs and illiterate voter registrants. PWDs and illiterate applicants can also fill out online the types of assistance they require, including the name of their assistor.




Voter applicants, however, still need to personally visit Comelec NCR offices (or the Embassy in Madrid) for form submission and biometrics capture to complete the registration process.

Zubiaga, meanwhile, said the Comelec should instruct its officers nationwide to conduct satellite registration for senior citizens and voters with disabilities.

This is “to ensure that those from the inaccessible barangays will be assisted by their local officials to have accessible venues of registration and established assistance needed during election.”

Earlier this year, the Comelec, acting on Zubiaga’s request, declared July 20 as the National Registration Day for Voters with Disabilities, directing all its election officers nationwide “to designate accessible registration venue within their area of jurisdiction, in coordination with organizations of persons with disabilities.”

The day of registration, however, saw a low turnout of PWD voter applicants due to poor information dissemination and bad weather caused by typhoons “Glenda” and “Henry.”

Based on Comelec data, there are 339,144 PWD voters as of the Oct. 28, 2013 barangay elections, and 626,236 registered voters who are illiterate.

Registration of voters for the next national and local elections on May 9, 2016 will last until Oct. 31 next year.