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House approves early voting for elders, people with disabilities, attorneys, and medical personnel.

A bill allowing qualified senior citizens, people with disabilities (PWDs), attorneys, and healthcare professionals to cast early ballots in municipal and federal elections was approved by the House of Representatives on Monday at its third and final reading.

Senior citizens, people with disabilities (PWDs), attorneys, and people in need of health resources are allowed to cast their ballots at accessible establishments designated by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) seven working days before the date set for local and national elections under House Bill No. 7576, which was a consolidation of 15 separate bills filed in the current 19th Congress.

Human resources for health are defined as “all persons employed in all hospitals, sanitaria, health infirmaries, health centers, rural health units, barangay health stations, clinics, and other health-related establishments owned and operated by the government or its political subdivisions with original charters and shall include medical, allied health professional, administrative, and support personnel employed r

Section 2 of the Act said that “senior citizens and PWDs shall be permitted to vote early in national and local elections, taking into consideration their respective physical and health conditions.”

Similarly, it said, “Human resources for health and lawyers, respectively, shall be permitted to vote early in national and local elections, considering the necessity of providing professional services and ensuring the health and safety of the populace during election day.”

To be eligible to use this early voting option, older persons, people with disabilities, lawyers, and human resources for health must register nationwide, according to HB 7576. On election day, voters not registered by this Act will cast their ballots with all other eligible voters.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez applauded the measure’s advancement, noting that it would benefit both underprivileged industries and those that provide crucial services to Filipinos if it were to become law.

Senior persons and people with disabilities automatically have more trouble voting. They need additional help understanding the law, and HB No. 7576 gives them that help by allowing them to vote early and separately from the vast majority of Filipinos, according to Romualdez.

On the other hand, our attorneys and health personnel carry out urgent tasks that directly impact other residents. Therefore, he continued that early voting is both warranted and beneficial for them.

HB 7576, according to Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto, conveys that no individual should be denied the right to vote because of their employment, age, or physical characteristics.

“Disability shouldn’t be a reason to be denied voting rights. This bill effectively creates access ramps to democracy by making it simpler for people to cast a ballot. The Batangas 6th District Representative stated that elders shouldn’t be prevented from voting by age-related disabilities, if any.

He continued by saying that the legislation ensures that medical professionals won’t be prohibited from voting because of their loyalty to their jobs.

“To these sectors, this bill seeks to create ease in their voting by instituting early voting for them,” Recto stated.

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