The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

03 December 2009

“Boto Natin, Karapatan Natin, Kabilang Tayo”

By: Cathy Genovia

Who says that Persons with Disability (PWDs) do not have the right to political and public life? Who says they do not have their own minds to choose their own candidates?

“Boto Natin, Karapatan Natin, Kabilang Tayo” is the Theme of the National Disability Forum and General Assembly of Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy (Akap-Pinoy) held last Nov. 27-29 at Atrium Hotel. Being one of the members of Akap-Pinoy, ASP was also invited to the said forum.

Participants of the said forum with Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal of Commission on Election

All participants from different regions of the PWD group were given the opportunity to listen and ask questions on their right to vote according to UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Article 29, Participation in political and public life.

As per Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said “Everyone should have a voice” meaning everyone as in everyone who are Filipino Citizen, 18 year old and above have the right to vote as long as they are registered. They may be blind, deaf, handicap or even with autism, as long as they can vote.

The COMELEC also demonstrated to the participants the parts and use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS). It is the automated election system for 2010 national and local elections. They also showed the participants the proper way to insert their ballot paper in the machine. As expected, different reactions and different questions were asked.

Under Magna Carta for Disabled Persons and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, RA 7277, Chapter 7 stated the Political and Civil Rights of PWDs.

Section 29: System of Voting- Disabled persons shall be allowed to be assisted by a person of his choice in voting in the national or local elections…

The companion of a PWD must also be 18 year old and above. It can be his/her spouse, his/her child, sibling, parent or any relative until the 3rd degree.

So to all our PWDs friends out there, exercise your right. Vote wisely!



Thank you for publishing this article! Let us promote the rights of our PWD;s to be heard! Thank you ASP for the wonderful write up!

Unknown said...

Votes of PWD's are much appreciated..They may be blind, deaf, handicap or even with autism,they play a big role for the change.For those who are already eligible to vote, especially the youth, vote wisely!The future of our country lies on us...

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