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DSWD calls to observe PWD rights

disability_dswdAnything that hampers normal physical function is a disability. In empowering the person with disabilities (PWD), the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IV- MiMaRoPa celebrates the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week anchored with the theme: “Building an Inclusive and Non-Handicapping Environment for Person with Disabilities”.

“In collaboration with the Regional Council on Disability Affairs (RCDA) we will be having series of activity that will highlight the rights of PWDs this July 17-23, 2013 in Romblon, Romblon,” says DSWD PWD Focal Person Geneliza Gabilan.

Aside from PWD orientation and consultation dialogue with partner agencies, LGUs and private sectors, the department will be initiating a One-Stop-Shop Activity which will cater fun games for children with disability; legal consultation; livelihood programs orientation and onset (manual) and on-line PWD registration.

People with disabilities are often negatively stereotyped and marginalized by the rest of society.”Though we do not receive formal complaints about PWD discrimination in the region, issues like that arises during our consultation dialogues. It’s an unreported cases”, said Gabilan.

Regional Director Wilma D. Naviamos says, “PWDs are entitled to equal rights as well as access to education and employment”. Moreover, RA9442 has directed that PWDs are sanctioned with privileges’ and incentives such as 20% discount from all establishments particularly with the utilization of all services in hotels, restaurants and recreation centers like theaters and cinema houses; 20% discount for the purchase of medicines in all drugstores and; 20% for medical and dental services.

Furthermore, part of this year’s celebration is to give focus on employment and provide livelihood programs among our PWDs and households members with disabilities. “It is a challenge for us that government and private agencies should observe the newly passed bill, RA 10524,” Gabilan added.

RA No. 10524, an act expanding the positions reserved for PWD that provides 1% of all positions in all government and private agencies and offices shall be reserved for persons with disability.

In MiMaRoPa, 10,263 households have members with disability as identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR) based on the 2009 household assessment. Among the identified disabilities, visual impairment has the most number of cases with 2,038 followed by speech problem with 1,218 cases. On the other hand, 1,064 PWDs were recorded to have hearing problem and 867 more having mental disability.

Generally, PWDs found in the province of Palawan according to NHTSPR database, the department’s targeting system that identifies ‘who and where the poor are’ in the country. ###

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