Implementation of laws for PWDs, a challenge for LGUs

By ALDWIN QUITASOL
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — According to the OIC Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Cordillera Rommel P. Daguimol, there are many national laws intended for the welfare of the persons with disabilities (PWDs) that should be implemented to better serve its public.

During the 38th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) week celebration at the Baguio Convention Center (BCC), Daguimol cited the Batas Pambansa 344 created under the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos which addressed the respect of the rights of Filipino PWDs in accordance with the provisions of the Philippine Constitution.

He said this law is adopted by the Magnacarta for the PWDs or the Presidential Decree 1070. He said that this mandates the local government units (LGUs) to establish the PWDs Affairs Office (PDAO) in their respective areas of responsibility. He added that these are in accordance with the international mandates for governments to address the welfare and development of PWDs.

Daguimol said that there are existing laws for the PWDs in the Philippines. He said that it is yet a continuing challenge to government officials to make them a reality.

Baguio City councilor and also a PWD Arthur Allad-iw said that the Philippines has a national accessibility law. He said the problem still is its implementation at the local level. He said that there maybe unintended failures of implementation by LGUs but it is not an excuse for them not to review the law and the mandates for them to do what is right.

Allad-iw as a legislator and the chairman of the Baguio City Council committee on PWDs said they are in the process of drafting a resolution to strengthen the implementation or adoptation of PDAO at the barangay level. He said the proposed local legislation will require the Barangays to ensure having a PWD desk or committees that will look into the PWDs in their areas. He said this will be appropriated funds by the government so that it can perform its functions.

He said that one of the job of the committees is to have a concrete survey of PWDs within their areas of jurisdiction. This is to enable the barangays to have a database on the population of PWDs so that they can assess them for whatever necessities. He said that they will be able to identify their disabilities and their potential for employment.

He also said that one of the purpose is to pinpoint the locations of PWDs in their barangays so that in times of disasters, this will be used by the disaster risk reduction management councils for the PWDs to be included in the priorities to be assisted along with women and children.

Allad-iw ended by saying that the PWDs have all the right to remind their government that there are laws for the PWDs that should be implemented not only because they are laws but it is their right to benefit from them as part of the society. # nordis.net

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