Global Initiative to Enfranchise People with Disabilities: Philippines - www.electionaccess.org Text Only Version
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Philippines

General Right to Vote
Constitution:
(1987)
• Article V, section 1 states: "Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age… No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage."

Specific Inclusion of People with Disabilities
Constitution:
(1987)
• Article V, section 2 continues: "…The Congress shall also design a procedure for the disabled and the illiterates to vote without the assistance of other persons. Until then, they shall be allowed to vote under existing laws and such rules as the Commission on Elections may promulgate to protect the secrecy of the ballot."

Exclusion Based on Mental Disability
Electoral Law:
(1991: Synchronized Elections Law)
• Section 118 states: "The following shall be disqualified from voting…(c) Insane or incompetent persons as declared by competent authority."

Exclusion Based on Physical Disability
Constitution:
(1987)
• Article VI, section 3 states: "No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born citizen…and…is at least thirty-five years of age, able to read and write, a registered voter…"
• Article VII, section 2 states: "No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age…"
Electoral Law:
(1991: Synchronized Elections Law)
• Section 63 states: "No person may be elected President or Vice-President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age…"
• Section 64 states: "No person shall be elected Member of the Batasang Pambansa…unless he is a natural-born citizen…and…is at least twenty-five years of age, able to read and write, a registered voter…"

Voter Assistance by Other Citizens
Electoral Law:
(1991: Synchronized Elections Law)
• Section 196 states: "A voter who is illiterate or physically unable to prepare the ballot by himself may be assisted in the preparation of his ballot by a relative, by affinity or consanguinity within the fourth civil degree or if he has none, by any person of his confidence who belongs to the same household or any member of the board of election inspectors, except the two party members: Provided, That no voter shall be allowed to vote as illiterate or physically disabled unless it is so indicated in his registration record: Provided, further; That in no case shall an assistor assist more than three times except the non-party members of the board of election inspectors. The person thus chosen shall prepare the ballot for the illiterate or disabled voter inside the voting booth. The person assisting shall bind himself in a formal document under oath to fill out the ballot strictly in accordance with the instructions of the voter and not to reveal the contents of the ballot prepared by him. Violations of this provision shall constitute an election offence."
Disability Law:
(R.A. 7277: "Magna Carta For Disabled Persons)
• Section 29 states: "Disabled persons shall be allowed to be assisted by a person of his choice in voting in the national or local elections. The person thus chosen shall prepare the ballot for the disabled voter inside the voting booth. The person assisting shall bind himself in a formal document under oath to fill out the ballot strictly in accordance with the instructions of the voter and not to reveal the contents of the ballot prepared by him. Violation of this provision shall constitute an election offence. Polling places should be made accessible to disabled persons during national or local elections."
Poll Worker Manuals:
General Instructions for the board of Election Inspectors on the Casting and Counting of Votes (1998)
· An illiterate voter or one who is physically unable to prepare his ballot may be assisted by " a relative, a person of his confidence belonging to same household, a member of the board" p 10
· All assistants must be of voting age and sign oath saying that he/she will fill in ballot according to voter's wishes, and not divulge the voter's choice p 10

Promotes Access
Poll Worker Manuals:
General Instructions for the board of Election Inspectors on the Casting and Counting of Votes (1998)
· "Election Officer coordinates with proper school or building officials of designated polling places to ensure convenience of disabled voters" p 11

 
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