LAOAG CITY, June 5 (PIA) — The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has completed the special registration of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and inmates in the province on June 1, in its effort to empower vulnerable or marginalized sectors in time for the mid-year election in 2013.
Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, the focal person in the Inter-Agency and Non-Government Organization Network in Empowering Persons with Disability, personally supervised the special registration of PWDs and inmates at the Ilocos Norte Provincial Jail.
He also met election officers and assistants in a program following the conduct of special registrations.
Sarmiento said extending help to the marginalized was a measure of a person’s greatness.
COMELEC officers reported that the turn out of PWD registrants from 21 towns and the cities of Laoag and Batac was minimal running from zero to less than 10 PWDs. On the other hand, more than 60 inmates turned up for the registration.
COMELEC records as of January 2012 show that the Ilocos Region have the following number of registered PWD voters: Ilocos Sur, 1,347; Ilocos Norte, 1,670; Pangasinan, 1,164 and La Union, 763.
The Commission attributed the low turn out to various factors ranging from difficulty in showing up at the registration sites, fear of embarrassment to those with no formal education and the practice of putting off a task until the deadline.
The COMELEC has set the deadline of nationwide registration on October 31.
Before the special registrations, the COMELEC went on an intensified campaign to draw participation for the satellite registrations primarily by coordinating with the municipal and city social welfare offices, village officials, and announcements from local radio stations. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)