Tag Archives: Indonesia

Filipino PWDs in the 2018 Asian Paragames

From winning five silver and five bronze medals during the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea, the Philippines has upped the ante by winning 10 gold, eight silver, and 11 bronze medals in the 2018 Asian Para Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia from October 6-13.

It ranked the country at 11th place.

The first-ever gold was delivered by Ernie Gawilan during the Para Swimming Men’s 200m Individual Medley SM7, clocking 2:52.43 at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Stadium.

He also bagged a silver during the Para Swimming Men’s 50m Freestyle S7 with a time of 31.93 seconds.

Then it was another silver from Achelle Guion during the 45kg powerlifting, a bronze from Arthus Bucay during the Para Cycling Men’s Time Trial, and another bronze from Gary Bejino during the Para Swimming Men’s 100m Backstroke.

“Our strong performance in the Asian Para Games shows that our disabled athletes can be just as good, if not better, than our abled ones,” Mike Barredo, president of the  Philippine Sports Association for Differently-Abled (PHILSPADA), was quoted as saying in a report.

Below is the list of the winners:

  • GOLD (10)

Kim Ian Chi (bowling, mixed singles TPB10)

Sander Severino (chess, men’s individual standard P1)

Sander Severino (chess, men’s individual rapid P1)

Redor Menandro, Israel Peligro and Arman Subaste (chess, men’s team standard VI – B2/B3)

Henry Roger Lopez, Jasper Rom and Sander Severino (chess, men’s team standard P1)

Henry Roger Lopez, Jasper Rom and Sander Severino (chess, men’s team rapid P1)

Arthus Bucay (cycling, men’s 4,000 meters individual pursuit C5)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, 100 meter backstroke S7)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, 200 meters individual medley SM7)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, 400 meters freestyle S7)

  • SILVER (8)

Kim Ian Chi and Samuel Matias (bowling, mixed doubles TPB10 + TPB10)

Redor Menandro (chess, men’s individual standard VI – B2/B3)

Henry Roger Lopez (chess, men’s individual rapid P1)

Archelle Guion (powerlifting, 45 kilograms)

Gary Bejino (swimming, men’s 200 meters individual medley SM6 5-6)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, men’s 50 meters freestyle S7)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, men’s 100 meters freestyle S7)

Josephine Medina (table tennis, women’s singles TT8)

  • BRONZE (11)

Jasper Rom (chess, men’s individual standard P1)

Jasper Rom (chess, men’s individual rapid P1)

Armand Subaste (chess, men’s individual standard VI – B2/B3)

Arman Subaste (chess, men’s individual rapid B2/B3)

Cecilio Bilog, Francis Ching and Rodolfo Sarmiento (chess, men’s team rapid B)

Redor Menandro, Israel Peligro and Arman Subaste (chess, men’s rapid B2/B3)

Taberna Godfrey (cycling, men’s road race C4)

Arthus Bucay (cycling, men’s time trial)

Adeline Ancheta-Dumapong (powerlifting, women’s 86 kilograms)

Gary Bejino (swimming, men’s 100 meters freestyle S6)

Gary Bejino (swimming, 100 meters backstroke)

They will be awarded with a total of P24.3 million cash incentives in pursuant to Republic Act 10699, or the New Incentives Law.

The Philippines has finished fourth among Southeast Asian nations that took part in the meet.

“This is a true testament of our para athletes resiliency, courage and determination in spite of their disablities,” ~ Kiko Diaz

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Paralympic Games

In the Face of Calamities

Children with disabilities in the Philippines—there are 5.1 million of them to date—are the most vulnerable if there happen to be a calamity or an emergency in the country. They wouldn’t be able to flee; around 1.5 million need assistive devices. They wouldn’t be able to go back to school immediately and they wouldn’t be able to subsist in the sanitation conditions in evacuation centers.1

So, Dr. Renato Solidum Jr., Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction of the Department of Science and Technology, proposed to carry out continuing education and preparation on disaster management in all levels especially those in the most vulnerable groups. He encouraged developing “disaster imagination” to bring about people’s resolve to prepare for any disaster and “disaster preparedness” as a way a life for every Filipino.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council–Office of Civil Defense also endorsed “Lahat Handa,” a training manual that promotes the rights and capacities of children, youth, older people and PWDS.

The ramifications of a typhoon, flood, or fire may linger, said Alex Ghenis of the Berkeley, California-based World Institute on Disability. These may disrupt access to caregivers, assistive devices and medical supplies. A person with a mobility impairment might be less able to escape a storm on their own while a person with a visual or hearing impairment might not receive appropriate evacuation notices. PWDs, therefore, even they have mostly been ignored in scientific literature and policy, will be the most vulnerable during calamities because of falling buildings and environmental pollution.

Good thing, someone has thought of sign language gestures for words like typhoon, storm surge and signal numbers in 2013. Some waterside villages in Tacloban have also planned to raise flags and made announcements over megaphones to alert the deaf and the visually impaired, respectively.

The PWD Forum also hopes that closed captioning will be added to television broadcasts soon. For, as of now, research director Perpi Tiongson of the Oscar M. Lopez Center in Manila has observed that the standard version of Filipino sign language isn’t required to be taught at schools for the deaf yet.

“Some of the children with disabilities wouldn’t be able to duck, cover and hold under tables, so they should identify the safest area in the room, where no debris would fall on them. If they use wheelchairs, they should fix it to ensure stability, and everyone should be informed of their buildings’ respective evacuation routes. They should also pinpoint the safe parts of a building in case of an earthquake.” ~ Dr. Renato Solidum Jr.

1This was noted by Lotta Sylwander, country representative of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), during the “Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities.”

2Typhoons could form if the temperature is above 280C (82.40F).

3The figure was from a report of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Notes:

  • Among of the natural disasters that had happened in the Philippines are the Bohol earthquake, (October 15, 2013), Typhoon Bopha (December 3, 2012), Pantukan landslide (January 5, 2012), Tropical Storm Washi (December 2011), Typhoon Fengshen (June 20-23, 2008), Tropical Cyclone Durian (November 25, 2006), Guinsaugon landslide (February 17, 2006), and Tropical Depression Winnie (November 2004).
  • The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) in Western Visayas headed by Melissa Banias of the Capability Building Section has trained more or less 700 individuals from the 14 vulnerable or basic sectors that were identified by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) on the Philippine DRRM system, different kinds of natural and human-induced hazards, and DRRM applications. They are composed of volunteer groups, persons with disability, farmers, fisherfolk, rebel returnees, and Indigenous Peoples (IP), among others.
  • The Philippines is prone to earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, landslides, storms, cyclones, and depressions simply because it is located just above the equator, where the country faces the western Pacific waters with 280C (82.40F) temperature2. Its hillsides are denuded of forests and it rests on the so-called volcano Ring of Fire.

A lot of Filipinos live on coastal islands, too. The Super Typhoon Haiyan reached 23 feet (7 meters) upon its surge. It rolled over the low-lying parts of Leyte, causing death to more than 10,000 people3.

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Edison Jared

UPDATE (October 2, 2018): On average, more than 1,000 lives are lost every year in the Philippines, with typhoons accounting for 74 percent of the fatalities, 62 percent of the total damages, and 70 percent of agricultural damages, according to the World Bank.

Source: GMA News Online

Turning Four!

Not everyone is still willing to give persons with disabilities a chance four years after The PWD Forum came about.

In Indonesia for instance, disability is still regarded as a punishment from God. PWDs must be exorcised, tied up at the back of the house (dipasung), confined to a small hut in the backyard, or tied at the wrists and ankles to a tree or heavy log. Disability is also seen as a matter of fate so there is little empathy for PWDs for whom ‘nothing can be done’.

As such, PWDs are excluded from most governments’ planning and support. In Bhutan in particular, its educational policy lack inclusive policy guidelines resulting in unequal opportunities.  Taiwan, on the other hand, has only programs for PWDs with “mild” conditions and the curricula just followed what is being taught in preschool classes.

In South Africa, teachers lack skills and knowledge. In South Korea, teachers know no culturally relevant curricula. In Malaysia, teachers are unprepared in terms of emotional acceptance and technical skills.

It is no wonder then that PWDs are still berated when seeking employment or at work; employers would definitely incur costs from hiring PWDs. Educating them alongside non-PWDs  would not be an easy feat especially that the term ‘inclusion’ itself has no fixed definition even in the western countries from which this concept was realized.

There are also parents who do not understand the meaning of inclusive education till now. Thus, the parents are still anxious with their children attending mainstream schools. Even governments are not sure what the concept really means and how it could be relevant within the local context.

If PWDs and non-PWDs study together, though, there would be no need to build exclusive educational institutions. Adjustment may also come naturally. Maricel Apatan had not been a burden anyway when she was studying a two-year course in Hotel and Restaurant Management in Cagayan de Oro City. She was even hired as a pastry chef at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Manila.

A polio victim, Marc Joseph Escora, had managed his training at the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center (NOLITC) in Bacolod City. Blind, Safiya Mundus had graduated from the Eusebio C. Santos Elementary School.

The PWD Forum could just imagine what else could have happened had Arnel Navales Aba, Godfrey Esperanzate Taberna, Emilia Malinowska, Jose Feliciano, and Mohamed Dalo finish school. Townsely Roberts had at The College of the Bahamas with an associate degree in Accounting and Computer Data Processing in 1995. Gary Russell had, too, at the same college with an associate degree in Law and Criminal Justice then at the University of Buckingham for his bachelor’s and master’s.

It was from his blind father that former interior and local government secretary Jesse Robredo learned discipline. Protecting the integrity and honor of one’s family is of highest importance, his father had said, and children are expected to contribute their share in doing that. So Jesse launched the “Fully Abled Nation,” a program seeking to increase the participation of PWDs in the coming 2013 Philippine midterm elections, roughly three months before he died in a plane crash.

“Hopefully, one day, the notion behind “persons with disability” be somehow erased from the world’s vocabulary and usher-in a day when technology, private & public organizations, and the law work together to give each person equal rights and opportunities, regardless of the person’s impediment.” ~ Atty. Mike Gerald C. David

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Jozelle Tech

Inclusive Education in Indonesia

Based on the direction letter of the Directorate General of Primary and Secondary Education No 380/C.66/MN/2003, inclusive education in Indonesia has begun in January 20, 2003. Every district has to have at least four inclusive schools, comprising of a primary, a secondary, general high and vocational higher type.

Every district must have at least one inclusive high school, too, according to the Decree of the Minister of Education No. 70-2009. Every sub district must have at least one primary and one secondary inclusive school, and would have up to 50 million rupiahs each.

Indonesia was motivated to implement inclusive education after the publication of “The Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities” by the United Nations in 1993 and convention on the World Conference on Special Needs Education, Access and Quality” held in Salamanca in 1994. Its regions that have conducted inclusive education in their regular schools are the Yogyakarta Province (12 schools) and the DKI Jakarta Province (35 schools).

The “process” towards inclusive education in Indonesia, though, started in the early 1960s. A couple of blind students in Bandung were disillusioned that educational service was only provided up to the junior high school level, after which vocational training on handicrafts or massage only were given.

In the late 1970’s, the Helen Keller International, Inc. helped Indonesia developed integrated primary schools in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya. It resulted in the issuance of the Letter of Decision by the Minister of Education in 1986 encouraging children with disabilities to attend regular schools.

Towards the end of 1990’s, the Ministry of National Education and the Norwegian government develop inclusive education through a cooperation project. More and more universities have also introduced inclusive education as a subject or as topics in other related subjects, inspiring students to take aspects of inclusive education as topics in their research. The Pertuni (Indonesian Blind Union), ICEVI, Nippon Foundation, UNJ-Jakarta, UPI-Bandung, UIN-Yogyakarta, Unesa-Surabaya have all established support service centres for students with visual impairment.

Recently, 33% of children with disabilities in Indonesia live in families earning less than $2  a day. With the Inclusive Community Development and School for All (IDEAL) program and the Save the Children-IKEA Foundation, access to quality inclusive education in the country was increased, letting them attain their right to education and protection.

“A community that is convinced about inclusive education, believe that living and learning together is a better way of life, that is profitable for every one, because this type of education can accept and respond to every student’s individual need so that the school become a learning friendly environment for the students.” ~ Prof DR. Fawzia Aswin Hadis

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Plan Indonesia

Of Young Voices

Proving their abilities beyond their physical incapacities are Angelique Vizorro, Brian Semeniego, Carla dela Cruz, and Daisy Panaligan. They are all members of the Young Voices, a global project of a United Kingdom-based health and welfare group that aims to fight work against poverty and social marginalization through film and music.1

Vizorro has been a part of the National Youth Commission (NYC) Government Internship Program that trained high school and college students alike for employment. She had graduated from STI College-Fairview and knew how to encode data, photocopy, scan, and file documents.

Semeniego has headed the YV-Iloilo Chapter and has represented the country in the workshop conducted by the he Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) in Colombo, Sri Lanka last August 2010, and in the National Human Rights Forum led by the Presidential Human Rights Committee in April of the same year. He has hosted the radio program K-Forum before he became the youngest board member of the Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy (AKAP-PINOY). To date, Semeniego intends to promote better accessibility for PWDs through his civil engineering degree.

Dela Cruz has undeveloped lower limbs. Despite of that, though, she was the one sent to Maryland, USA to study one high school year in 2004. She was the one sent to Ethiopia, Africa to attend a video filming workshop and she was the one of those awarded the Women Achiever of the Year last March 25, 2011. She is a cum laude of BS Education, major in Special Education, from the Trinity University of Asia.

Panaligan is an amputee since birth. She is a ballroom dancer as well, albeit on wheels. She is also an athlete and had won two gold medals and one silver medal in the 6th Asean Paragames in Solo, Indonesia.

1 Worldwide, there are 1200 PWD members of YV to date. They are from 21 countries and ages 16-25 years old. In the Philippines, YV is one of the core programs idealized by the LCD Foundation, involved as it was during the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Video courtesy of the LCD Young Voices