The House Minority bloc adopted Wednesday a measure authorizing the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to allow the senior citizens to vote by mail.
They adopted the measure after Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate called on his colleagues to fully support House Bill No. 7572 principally authored by Marikina 2nd district Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo.
“The proposal of Honorable Quimbo is the most welcome development. Para mas mapabilis ito ay magandang maging Minority proposal ito para for 2022, ay maging batas na ito. (To have its passage expedited, it would be better to make this a Minority proposal so that for 2022, it will be enacted into law). I so move,” Zarate said during the bloc’s weekly virtual press briefing.
The Makabayan lawmaker noted that Republic Act No. 10366, which authorizes the poll body to establish precincts assigned to accessible polling places exclusively for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens, “has to be adjusted.”
“Today, we are making the proposal of Congresswoman Quimbo a Minority proposal,” House Minority Leader and Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. said after Zarate’s motion was overwhelmingly supported by his colleagues.
Quimbo said she filed HB No. 7572 which allows Comelec to conduct postal voting for the elderly.
“We cannot allow the disenfranchisement of our elderly population just because there is an ongoing pandemic,” Quimbo said, noting that in the 2019 elections, 9.1 million of the 61.8 million registered voters are senior citizens.
The economist-turned-lawmaker said her proposal is not new, citing that several countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, and New Zealand have their own postal voting.