Tag Archive | "dwight macabuhay"

The quest to wonderland

Hansel and Gretel had finally been lured by the witch. They entered a pretentious ginger bread house with fancy windows and lovely doors. They drowned in pleasure on food served in abundance. They marvel on the sweetest extract of juice that swept down their throats. They were happy. Finally, as the witches plan come into fruition, Hansel and Gretel realized the impending danger that ensues a perfect supper. They awoke in front of a boiling pot with their hands tied to their back. In their head a picture was painted in vivid description – they are going to be cooked – alive. The fear of death gave a massive strength to break the chain that binds them. With stealth they ran into the dark and escaped the dreaded witch

Some fairy tales are metaphoric of somebody’s life. The seemingly easy task of loosening tied hands and escaping from a witch sounds easy. In reality there are people who have hands and feet firmly tied to an invisible knot. Escaping is never an option. Such is the condition for Ismael and Ilyn Regla – siblings bounded by inability to walk. They were handicapped from birth.

The struggle to fit

An explosion of bright colors and blissful scene, Ilyn, proudly shows two of her artworks. She draw inspiration from her environment and the people around her.

An explosion of bright colors and blissful scene, Ilyn, proudly shows two of her artworks. She draw inspiration from her environment and the people around her.

Ilyn, 32, looks emaciated. Her hair was loosely tied to her back with her bangs sweeping to the side covering half of her face. She had brought two of her paintings that she held in each hand. One of the images depicted a group of ladies spending a lazy afternoon on a picnic under a tree. The other was a lone woman picking fully bloomed flowers in a garden beside a lake. She said coyly “ako yung mag-isang babae na namimitas ng bulaklak” followed by a pit of laughter.

She joked, in between telling stories about how her life had been. Ilyn recalled the pain of having to quit school due to the struggle of travelling to and from her house. She had someone who used to religiously push her wheelchair and carry her to a tricycle to send her to school. But when her aid, finally decided to move out of town, she had no one to replace her. Her father did not agree to having a male as a replacement so she had to stop school altogether. She was in second year highschool.

“Pero hindi yun ang pinakapanget kong experience nung highschool,” Ilyn said. She struggled to fit in and did not feel she belonged to any group. She recalled having been treated condescendingly by group of girls. She had practically been bullied all throughout her stay in highschool. “Mabuti nga ngayon meron ng batas na pwedeng magparusa sa mga nangungutya sayo, dati kasi parang wala ka naman pwedeng masumbungan,” she said. Ilyn felt like the best thing at the time was to quit school and just stay at home.

A Brother’s Story

The case was different for Ismael, 31, Ilyn’s younger brother. His welcoming smile gave the impression of a man who had it easy. Though inevitably shrunken by his disability, he sat proudly on his wheelchair.  “Madami akong kaibigan, at meron akong bestfriend na syang nagtutulak saken hanggang school,“ Ismael recalled.  He was very thankful for having a group of friends who took turns sending him to school. Ismael is naturally friendly giving him a greater edge from his sister who is shy and timid. It worked to his advantage and gave him courage to come to his sister’s rescue. “Minsan ako talaga nagtatanggol sa kapatid ko nung highschool, ako at ang mga kabarkada ko,” Ismael added.

He finished highschool and eventually tried to pursue a job. Given his inability to take on jobs that require full physical function, he was disheartened and eventually gave up looking for work. “Mahirap makahanap ng trabaho kasi karamihan kelangan talaga na nakakatayo ka man lang, eh wala eh, mahirap ang kalagayan ko kasi nga lumpo ako,” Ismael remarked.

A huge smile lights up Ismael's face as he jokes about the interesting mix of the joyful yet melancholic highschool years.

A huge smile lights up Ismael’s face as he jokes about the interesting mix of the joyful yet melancholic highschool years.

Life took an interesting turn when his then girlfriend gave birth to his daughter. Ismael felt the hard pinch of the need to earn for child support. He started taking on part-time job as a commentator to their barangay’s Liga during summer. He has been accepting mobile phone repair services to make ends meet.  But nothing stretches his financial stick to meet the demands of raising a child and a family altogether. His wife left with his daughter, and he settled for a mutual visitation agreement between him and his then wife. Ismael only gets to see his daughter on specific occasions. “Pero syempre kelangan pa din kumayod para pang suporta sa bata, kapag wala talagang kita eh pasensyahan na muna”, said Ismael.

Assisted Development

The Department of Social Welfare and Development recognizes the struggle and hardships that a person with disability had to go through. There are various developmental programs that benefit the interest of the PWD sector. The Regla siblings were fortunate to have been able to become a beneficiary to these programs.

Ilyn was sitting on her newly donated wheelchair from the Municipal Social Welfare Department of Romblon, Romblon. She gushed about the ease in process she had to go through to request for a wheelchair. She even excitedly shared how the LGU of their town agreed to customize a wheelchair for his brother, Ismael. She further spoke of the overwhelming gratitude she has for DSWD and their LGU for having granted a wheelchair.

They were doubly thankful as they also benefited from the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD. Ilyn put up a small sari-sari store with the financial assistance she got from SLP. “Hindi na ako mahihirapan maghanap ng trabaho kasi ako na mismo ang gumawa ng sarili kong pagkakakitaan,” she said thankfully.

Ismael on the other hand built a small-scale poultry business. It wasn’t as successful as he imagined it to be but he is positive that it will flourish one day. “Kulang lang siguro ako sa training at pagma-manage ng maayos kaya kelangan ko pang ayusin, pero natututo naman din ako aayos din naman ito,” hoped Ismael.

The sibling’s optimism was strengthened as they learned of DSWD’s Social Technology Bureau’s plan to replicate Sheltered Workshop for PWDs and Senior Citizens Program in the town of Romblon. Ismael became interested to the program as it aims to provide livelihood training for PWDs. “Kung may bago man silang klase ng kabuhayan na ipapakita sa amin, gusto ko talagang makasali,” he said.

Assurance of Protection

Gone are the days when people are able to throw harsh words to persons with disability without being punished. The government clenched its fist in protection of the PWDs through passing RA 9442, commonly known as the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability. The Act gives all PWDs the right to sue a person who will treat them with disrespect and condescendence.

It also obliged various government agencies to provide an environment that is PWD friendly. From commercial building structures to hospital premises, from discounts at drugstores, groceries, amusement parks and other commercial establishments, the government has to ensure that PWDs’needs are met.

Building a Non-Handicapping Environment

A fairy tale always ends in a widely-known punctuation that is happily ever after. The struggle of the characters in the story is similar to that of people in actual world. The difference however is that, they are assured of a happy ending and actual human beings are not.

The dragons, the witches, the poisoned apple are the fairy tale equivalent of the societal judgments towards PWDs. Some of the abusive words said to a PWD are more handicapping than the disability itself. “Minsan ayaw ko na lang lumabas kasi nahihiya ako kapag andami tayo sa paligid ko feeling ko lahat sila nakatingin saken tapos pinaguusapan ako,” said, Ilyn.

Though life is hard up, the naturally timid Ismael and Ilyn have high hopes for better days ahead.

Though life is hard up, the naturally timid Ismael and Ilyn have high hopes for better days ahead.

Ilyn and Ismael, have no option to escape from the harsh reality brought about by their condition. But the world can still be a fairy tale to them. The government is their knight in shining armor. He is the prince, wearing a battle gear riding a white horse galloping across the sea of enemies killing each one that hurt the princess. The society is their wonderland, full of pleasant talking flowers, showered with kind words from a caterpillar atop a mushroom smoking a hookah.

A disability is only physical. The society and the government can compensate to the physical incapacity of a PWD to make them whole to make their fairy tale a happily-ever-after-worthy of an ending.



Posted in featureComments (0)

Romblon celebrates National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week

A father walks alongside his daughter in a parade at downtown Romblon in celebration of the NDPR week.

A father walks alongside his daughter in a parade at downtown Romblon in celebration of the NDPR week.

Romblon, Romblon – Festive in pink.  Like flowers sprouting at the break of spring, Persons with Disability beneficiaries together with their relatives and representatives from various PWD sectors of Romblon, Romblon wore pink and paraded along downtown streets of their municipality in celebration of the 35th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation week, July 17, 2013.

Holding signboards high above their heads, members of the PWDs voiced out their right to mandated laws protecting their interest. Freedom from derogatory comments, neglect and any form of abuse marked placards that they brandished in the entirety of the parade.

The NDPR week was a whole day celebration conducted by the LGU, DSWD and all concerned stakeholders. Part of the itinerary was the consultation dialogue between government agencies, LGUs, concerned stakeholders and PWD beneficiaries in the implementation of RA 9442 or “Magna Carta for Persons with Disability”.

Breaking the silence

Purification Arriola, Head Protective Services Unit , DSWD IV-MIMAROPA,  actively urged households to report to their respective municipality any member who has a disability. “Yung culture of silence na meron tayong mga Pilipino ang minsan nagiging dahilan para hindi natin bigyan ng kaukulang pansin yung kapamilya natin na may kapansanan,” said Arriola.

She emphasized how most households are bounded by the fear of being subjected to ridicule had their community learned that one of their family members is a PWD. She further added that some families would rather keep their silence on the condition of their member to avoid neighborhood gossips.

In the end, Arriola assured that RA 9442 encompasses sanctions given to any person who is verbally and/or physically abusing a PWD. “Huwag po tayong matakot, may kaukulang batas at parusa sa mga taong mangugutya sa mga kababayan natin na may kapansanan,” she added.

Shared support

The consultation-dialogue intensified as one of the stakeholders brought to table the 1% share from the total municipal budget for senior citizens’ and PWDs development programs. This concern was directed to the proper division of budget. Each party do not have the same developmental programs, and the PWD sector has relatively more number of projects therefore needing a higher budget. Marc Arthur Silverio, representative of town Mayor Gerard Montojo, addressed the issue saying both parties could come into concensus. They can hold a meeting and compromise as to the division of budget.

Silverio emphasized how the 1% share had been properly utilized since its implementation in 2009. He enumerated the programs to which the share was allocated such as, educational assistance for PWDs, issuance of ID for discounts, financial, medical and burial assistance.

Game face on

The celebration was punctuated with parlor games prepared for PWD attendees. Players proved how any form of disability do not hinder ones capacity to win. Every single one of the attendees participated in egg relay, stop-dance, paper dance and trip to Jerusalem. Fancy prizes were at stake. Having participated the game, Ilyn Ismael, a handicapped, said smiling “nagsaya ako ng husto hindi ko na-feel na natalo ako”.

PWD beneficiaries enjoying the all-too-famous Trip to Jerusalem parlor game.

PWD beneficiaries enjoying the all-too-famous Trip to Jerusalem parlor game.

As if befitting to the theme “Building an Inclusive and Non-Handicapping Environment for PWDs”, Jerry Masaulong, a PWD beneficiary, sang the lyrics to the song Pusong Bato which perfectly described the feeling of PWDs towards societal discriminatory behavior. Although it spoke of love and heartbreak, the emotional equivalent of pain and embarrassment a PWD feels by each derogatory word said to any one of them is evident.

In the end, the participants were all awarded with prizes such as canned goods, school supplies and grocery items. The LGU also took the time to distribute cash grants to the beneficiaries of Special Education Program for children with autism.

Posted in newsComments (0)

DSWD IV-MiMaRoPa Holds Provincial Consultation Dialogue for RA 9442

Stakeholders attentively listen to presenters while noting down points for discussion thereafter.

Stakeholders attentively listen to presenters while noting down points for discussion thereafter.

Puerto Princesa City, Palawan – Five government agencies gathered in response to an initiative by the Department of       Social Welfare and Development IV- MIMAROPA to conduct a consultation dialogue with the Local Government Unit and Stakeholders of Puerto Princesa City in the implementation of Republic Act No. 9442 known as “Magna Carta for Persons With Disabilities”, last July 10, 2013.

The consultation dialogue was in favor of presenting the guidelines in implementation of the RA 9442. Delegates from the DSWD, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) took turns in presenting laws and programs to be implemented by their respective department.

The RA 9442 which benefits the welfare of persons with disabilities was an amendment of RA 7277. The Act highlights the 20 percent discount and other special privileges provided to PWDs at drugstores and establishments such as restaurants, theatres, cinemas, amusement parks etc.

A comprehensive discussion on specified orders in accordance with RA 9442 underlined the first half of the consultation dialogue. The rest of the day was solely dedicated to an open forum participated by attendees from various associations of PWDs and other concerned stakeholders.

One section of the Act that states the reduction in tax obligations of a person taking care of a PWD was put into question by Municipality Budget Officer of Quezon, Palawan, Mr. Eddie Luneta. He proposed that the same regulation should apply for employed PWD. Luneta further implied how having to take care of a person with disability and having the disability yourself bear no difference in the degree of burden therefore concluding the specific regulation should apply to an employed PWD himself.  This concern was quickly addressed by Ms. Geneliza Gabilan, DSWD IV-MIMAROPA’s focal person for PWDs, validating the 25% tax reduction on the gross salary total of an employed PWD.

As the forum progressed, one beneficiary complained of some drugstores’ refusal to provide a 20% discount on purchase. Gabilan explained that a beneficiary should first be legitimately registered as a PWD. That means undergoing the process of acquiring an ID needed to present to any drugstores and/or establishments that a PWD has benefit from. The process includes obtaining a medical report from a government hospital to identify the kind of disability a person has. The medical report will then be used to check if the type of disability a person has, qualifies for the kind of protection RA 9442 gives.

The session concluded with a few concerns left to be confirmed. That includes the 1% of the total municipal budget that is supposedly allocated to development programs for PWDs and Senior Citizens. Also, a few clarifications are yet to be discussed in reference to the percentage of tax reduction of an employed person who has a PWD for a beneficiary.  These concerns will be looked into by the concerned government agencies and a promise of a timely response has been set.



Posted in newsComments (0)

QRT Portal

Listahanan: Tuloy ang Pagbabago

  • IP Listahanan data
  • IP
  • MALE
  • Nutrition
  • ROOF
  • http://wowslider.com/
cssslider by WOWSlider.com v8.7

Transparency Seal

Organizational Outcomes

Reference Maps

Tweet Us use Hashtag #DSWDMIMAROPA

April 2020

Related Sites