EARLY BIRDS. Senior citizens are among those at the basketball court waiting area before casting their votes at Claro M. Recto High School in Sampaloc, Manila on Monday (May 9, 2022). The elderly and persons with disabilities have priority lanes. (PNA photo by Maritz Moaje)

MANILA – No matter what their age and health conditions are, elderly citizens and persons with disabilities (PWD) were among the early voters at Claro M. Recto High School in Sampaloc, Manila on Monday.

Most of them wanted to avoid overcrowding by mid-morning or near closing time.

Accompanied by a relative, 67-year-old Generosa Lo said it is her responsibility to choose the country’s next leader who has a heart for the elderly.

Maayos naman ang naging pagboto ko hindi ako masyadong matagal kasi inuuna nila ang mga senior (The voting process was okay and it didn’t take me long because they prioritized senior citizens),” she told the Philippine News Agency after casting her ballot on the third floor.

Lo said she has never missed any elections and will continue doing so until her body will allow her to.

Sayang kahit isang boto lang ako.  Dapat makapili ng tamang lider, ‘yung may malasakit sa mga katulad ko na matatanda (My vote is valuable even if it counts just one. We should choose the right leader, a person who sincerely cares for old people like me),” she said.

Nelson Ramirez, a blind voter, accompanied by wife, Miriam, at Claro M. Recto High School in Sampaloc, Manila (PNA photo by Maritz Moaje)

Nelson Ramirez, 57, and blind, traveled by public transportation from Caloocan City to Manila, where he and his wife are registered.

He said they waited for 30 minutes and were assisted the rest of the way.

Pinag-isipan kong mabuti ‘yung binoto ko. Pinili ko siya kasi nakakatulong (I thought hard before voting. I chose the candidate who can help),” he said, adding that they left their house at 5:30 a.m.

His wife, Miriam, 59, said they do not yet have the documents needed to transfer their registration to Caloocan City.

Sa mga kabataan, dapat bumoto sila kasi mas para sa kanila na ito. Kami matanda na, konti na lang ang itatagal namin (To the youth, they should vote. This is for them more than for us. We are old and we do not have much time left),” Ramirez said.  (PNA)