Through education, three persons with disabilities in the Philippines have been in equal footing with non-PWDs.
Forty-one year-old Arvin Fidel Sarabia had his bachelor’s degree in Commerce at the University of Cebu. He is currently a senator of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines (formerly Philippine Jaycees), which is the first nationally organized leadership development organization established in Asia. He was awarded as its Most Outstanding Member (Area IV) in 2011 and Most Outstanding President in 2012. Sarabia is also a computer layout artist, event planner, and businessman.
Eleazar Danila has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education major in English at the West Visayas State University (WVSU). He was recognized then as the WVSU Rotary Award for Most Outstanding Graduate, Most Outstanding University Service Award, CAMELEON Philippines Heroes Award, and Jose Rizal Model Student of the Philippines. The following year, Danila became hailed among the regional awardee for the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP). He is presently a teacher of English and Research at the Saint Vincent Ferrer Seminary, believing that education is the “silver bullet to fight poverty” and that his profession provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth.
Also from WVSU is Hazel Villa, a Master of Journalism. She has started writing in June about the “Guimaras Waterlore: A Critical Folklore Approach” to analyze how the waterlore in Guimaras directly impact the general fishing industry in the province and the ways Guimarasnons try to preserve their aquatic resources. She has also researched about “Blog Defamation and jurisdiction issues,” citing what had happened with Gutnick vs. Dow Jones and Montano vs. Gorrell.
Educating PWDs alongside non-PWDs in developing countries such as the Philippines should be considered now. The greatest percentage of PWDs resides in developing countries, after all; some of them are among the countries those that ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Education will then cease to be an “unaffordable luxury,” enabling the former to fully assimilate into the culture of where they are.
“We have to educate our local governments, because the PWDs are the most vulnerable to poverty and lack of access to basic needs.” ~ Dr. Erwin Alampay