By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Reports that there are banks in Baguio City that do not accommodate visually impaired persons who wish to open bank accounts because they cannot affix their signatures prompted city legislators to pass a resolution urging all banks in Baguio to allow without discrimination the application of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) especially the blind in opening their accounts.
Baguio City Councilor Arthur Allad-iw, author of the said resolution and a PWD himself explained that almost all collecting government offices such as PAG-IBIG, PHILHEALTH, Social Security System are implementing electronic payment and collection system for remittance of premium contributions and/or employees’ loan. He said that as much as these visually impaired persons wanted to comply with government requirements on electronic remittances, they cannot because of the limited banks that are willing to accommodate them.
This was experienced by visually impaired persons who are members of a cooperative engaged in massage service who tried to open bank accounts but they were not accommodated by some banks because they use thumb marks, instead of written signatures. Rural banks are allowing PWDs to open accounts unfortunately, these banks are not accredited by the collecting government offices.
Allad-iw cited Republic Act No. 227, Republic Act No. 7277, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons that expressly provides that “xxx the State shall give support to the improvement of the total well-being of disabled persons and their integration into the mainstream of society.” And that “Disabled persons have the same rights as other people to take their place in society. They should be able to live freely and as independently as possible. This must be the concern of everyone – the family, community and all government and nongovernment organizations.”
He stressed that these PWDs should be treated equal by the society amidst the emergence of electronic-driven way of life as they too are makers of the Filipino society.
The said resolution was unanimously approved by the Baguio council last May 7. # nordis.net