Tag Archives: Department of Public Works and Highways

Accessibility and more

Local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines have been doing what they can for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the country.

In Antique, for instance, the Provincial Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) in Antique has held an accessibility audit in the establishments and schools in the city. It was headed by Paolo Castillo who visited the Eagles Hotel, Land Bank of the Philippines, Special Education and Development Antique Integrated School, Antique Christian Center Incorporated, and Advance Central College together with the Association of the Municipal Engineers of Antique, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

In Marikina City, on the other hand, Vice Mayor Jose Cadiz has worked on a software so that PWDs can be picked up from specific points in the locality.

It also launched a PWD-friendly tricycle–a first of its kind in the Philippines—which is inspired by the units in Tokyo and Hong Kong. The tricycle has a larger space that can accommodate a passenger in a wheelchair and three persons more. It also has a ramp and straps to easily draw the passenger into the vehicle while securing the wheelchair on board.

The city government has one unit only, though. It was hoping the private sector will contribute in producing more units. The so-called PWD-friendly tricycle will cost P10,000 more than a regular tricycle but there will be no terminal membership fee of P50,000 anymore since the units do not have to be parked in a terminal.

“We are not fighting for pity. What we are asking is for them to respect our rights regardless of our disabilities. Because, in a way, we are all equal.” ~ Charito Manglapus

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Rappler

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New Vois Association of the Philippines

In March 2007, the Philippine Laryngectomee Club (PLC) decided to do something more than it had envisioned when it established itself 11 years ago.

It would not just support those with throat cancer but those with speech impairments as well. It would conduct esophageal speech training for people with disabilities (PWDs) in Quezon City.

An ex-officio member of the Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy (AKAP-Pinoy), the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) has been involved in monitoring the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). It assists in implementing Republic Act 10070 and Executive Order 417.

Last July 19, 2010, the NVAP rallied to raise awareness on the violations of the Magna Carta of the Disabled Persons (Republic Act 9442), specifically on the granting of the 20% discount on medical purchases. It led to several other lobbying activities at the House of Representatives and impelled the Mercury Drugstore Corp. to grant the said discount on March 1, 2011.

The NVAP also chaired the International Disability Day last December 3, 2010. It is also the one presiding over the annual Freedom Walk activity since June 2011.

“The event is dubbed the ‘Freedom Walk’ as a way for the PWD sector to celebrate Philippine Independence Day. This is also an expression of their desire to be free from shackles of discrimination, inequalities and poverty,” Captain Oscar Taleon, president of AKAP-Pinoy, was reported saying.

The Freedom Walk is usually participated in by the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the House of Representatives Committee on Social Services, the Department of Health (DOH), the National Anti-Poverty Commission, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Among the other non-government organizations (NGOs) that would also take part are the Philippine Academy on Rehab Medicine, the Philippine Federation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PFRD), the Philippine Association of Citizens with Developmental and Learning Disabilities, the Autism Society of the Philippines, the Philippine Blind Union, the (AKAP-Pinoy), as well as the SM Disability Affairs Program. (Photo from the NVAP Facebook Page)

“NVAP activities revolve around the following three main issues: (1) cancer support and rehabilitation of speech-impaired PWDs, (2) tobacco control advocacy, and (3) persons with disabilities advocacy.” ~From the NVAP website

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the UPMMS Publicity

State of Filipino PWDs this 2014

Amidst the law that was legislated five administrations ago, some buildings still violate the Batasang Pambansa 344 that facilitates people with disabilities (PWDs) inside them.

Ferdinand Rañosa, an architect from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH 11), disclosed that there are private building owners who still violate the code. They would have their plans checked by the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) but would not implement them.

In a nutshell, the BP 344 is meant to “enhance the mobility of persons with disabilities by requiring certain buildings, institutions, establishments, and public utilities to install facilities and other devices.” Established last December 7, 1982 and approved last February 25, 1983, it has “no clear sanctions for [its] violators” till today although the CEO can cancel the latter’s certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion once its office is violated.

Remaining bills

There are bills that have remained as bills even though they were proposed since the 15th Congress of the Philippines.

Filed last June 6, 2012 by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, the “Children with Special Needs Education Fund Act of 2012” (SBN 3226) was drafted to increase the Special Education Fund received by the special education centers. It would be pooled from the proceeds of the additional real property tax plus a certain portion of the taxes on Virginia-type cigarettes and imported leaf tobacco.

It was last October 17, 2012, on the other hand, that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV suggested to give the country’s national athletes, coaches and trainers with disabilities with the same benefits that the “normal” athletes who win in international competitions receive. He was eventually joined by Sen. Pia S. Cayetano, Sen. Francis “Chiz” G. Escudero, Sen. Manny B. Villar, and Sen. Manuel “Lito” M. Lapid. Sen. Vicente C. Sotto III supported the bill at first but abstained from it when the bill was approved on the second reading with certain amendments last February 6, 2013.

A bill to protect those afflicted with HIV and AIDS was also passed as well as about one requiring operators of television shows, home video programs, and motion pictures to broadcast with closed captions.

As of this writing, there is still no current information how many PWDs are benefiting from the regulations favoring in the Philippines and how many of them can access public tertiary education and hospitals.

“The Philippines has a legal obligation to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities.” ~ Handicap International

Malabon

Malabon is a city in the Philippines where persons with disabilities (PWDs) can have ‘special’ privileges.

They can have 20% discount from hotels, restaurants, theaters, concert halls, drugstores, hospitals, dental clinics, travel agencies, and public transportation. They can study through scholarship grants, get into all of its commercial and government establishments as quickly as possible, and have tax incentives.

These are provided the PWDs have IDs, of course.

There are also schools here—both public and private—that PWDs can go into, particularly those with hearing impairments, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism, global developmental delay, cerebral palsy, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, behavioral problems, mental retardation,

These schools are the Amang Rodriguez Elementary School, Malabon Elementary School, Ninoy Aquino Elementary School, Potrero Elementary School, Bright Beginning Center for the Young, De La Salle Araneta University, Higher Ground Baptist Academy Foundation, and Total Aural-Oral Lesson for Kids Learning Center for the Deaf (T.A.L.K.) Learning Center, Inc.

The problem

But Malabon is a city a meter below sea level. It is the catch basin of floodwaters in the northern part of Metro Manila during the rainy season. Most of its barangays (villages) are submerged in sea water during high tide and are often impassable to heavy and light vehicles.

It is the primary reason that the city lags in its development, which causes multi-million damage to Malabon every year. It doesn’t help that its flood control facilities are aging and its residents would throw their garbage in esteros and canals.

So the city implemented a foreign-funded P3.5 billion mega flood control project last July 30, 2001.

Then in September 11, 2005, P15 million was allotted to construct of at least 14 pumping stations in the city’s low-lying barangays, erect river gate valves, and improve the major canals and waterways. Malabon’s engineering department would have 60 days to ease the city’s perennial problem.

About P3 billion was loaned again from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on March 28 last year.

It completed the Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuels (Camanava) Flood Control Project by 99% last June 28, 2013.

“Complaints are mounting that PWDs are experiencing discrimination when it comes to the 20 percent discount accorded them by the law, especially when buying medicine in drug stores.” ~ Malabon City Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel