Persons with special needs among ‘early birds’ in Taguig
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Persons with special needs among ‘early birds’ in Taguig
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FULFILLING DUTY TO COUNTRY AMID DISABILITY. Federico Jose, 70 and John Michael Malan, 23, were among the firsts to cast their votes at Sta. Teresa Elementary School in Taguig on Monday, (May 13, 2019). (PNA photos by Gladys Pino)

 

MANILA — For a wheelchair-bound senior citizen and a totally blind man, neither age nor disability can prevent them from exercising their right to suffrage.

 

Federico Jose, 70, and John Michael Malan, 23, were among the firsts to cast their votes at Sta. Teresa Elementary School in Taguig on Monday, May 13.

 

Jose got teary eyed as he shared to the Philippine News Agency his reasons for exercising his right, sans the difficulty, mobility issues ‘so my voice will be heard.’

“I don’t care if it won’t matter, but I am going out now to do my citizen’s duty and be heard,” Jose said.

Jose, who has been a Taguig resident since 1970, still hopes for change in the country and that his vote will be a factor for this to happen.

As he stepped into the school grounds, Jose was immediately assisted by an election volunteer and ushered to the courtesy lane room at the school’s ground level, aimed at making Monday’s polls convenient for people with special needs like senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), pregnant women and those with children.

On the other hand, Malan is stepping forward ‘to make sure that I help the right, deserving people get the posts.”

Assisted by his sister, the Bagumbayan Village vice president for persons with disabilities (PWDs) chooses the names to shade, as his sister mentions them.

Like Jose, Malan appreciated the PWD-friendly election process, where “all possible assistance were extended to us.”

Per Commission on Election (Comelec) data, more than 61 million are expected to go out to exercise their right to vote on Monday, May 13.

Some 18 million are from the youth sector, while 5.8 million are 60 and above. (PNA)