Tag Archives: National Council for Disability Affairs

Filipino PWDs this March 2019

Amidst the current government measure providing mandatory health coverage1 to persons with disabilities (PWDs), the US State Department has reported in its annual human rights report2 that the latter “continued to face discrimination” in 2018 since the policy crafted by the National Council for Disability Affairs that same year to help them “was not effectively enforced”.

It pointed the inaccessibility of public buildings, limited transportation access, separate education centers, lack of a clear system to inform parents of PWDs with their educational rights, lack of a well-defined procedure for reporting discrimination in education, lack of offices dedicated for PWDs in 40% local government units, and discrimination in hiring and employment.

The US State Department seemed to forget to note, though, about the Mental Health Law (Republic Act 11036) signed into law in June 20, 2018. It will integrate mental health services, promote mental health services, protect the people who availed those services, establish a mental health council in the country, and prohibit discrimination against PWDs.

In any case, this month, the province of Camarines Norte has drafted its “Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (LDRRMP)” for the next five years. The Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has also donated a 29-seater Toyota Coaster to the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC). Novels, textbooks, and other printed materials currently limited in distribution and production by copyright law were secured by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) for more than three million visually-impaired Filipinos.

Occupational therapy was also legislated recently. Entitled “Philippine Occupational Therapy Law of 2018” (Republic Act 11241), it has sought to create the Professional Regulatory Board of Occupational Therapy, which will issue or cancel registration and licenses for the practice of occupational therapy.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” ~ Muhammad Ali

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the CNN Philippines

1The health coverage—mandated in the Republic Act 11228—will be under the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) National Health Insurance Program.

2The “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018” was produced by the US State Department on all countries receiving assistance and all United Nations member states since 1977.

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“PWD-friendly” and “disabled persons”

Just how PWD-friendly the Philippines can get?

Not much, Amierielle Anne A. Bulan had said in an article. Her grandmother who had colon cancer and difficulty in walking had to be placed in a monobloc chair and carried by four men (whom her family paid P100 each) to attend to her medical check-up in a six-story building with no elevator in Quezon City. That is far, in Bulan’s opinion, from what the Department of Tourism is trying to convey in its latest campaign: that the Philippines is “destination-friendly.”

But it is trying. The Muntinlupa City has recently partnered with The Birthright Educators Foundation Inc. (TBEFI) and established—finally—a Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO)1. Ten hotels were also recognized for being “barrier-free” and friendly to persons with disabilities (PWD) during the World Tourism Day2 and 15 business establishments were awarded by the Makati City Hall for promoting the rights and welfare of PWDs3.

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has urged public buses to modernize4. The National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA) has reiterated the importance of facilities like ramps, toilets, and handrails in all public places5.

In the Oxford Dictionary, there is no such term as “PWD-friendly” but “disabled-friendly,” an adjective “that caters to the needs of the disabled, as by offering wheelchair access or services for those with impaired vision or hearing.”6 Recognizing the term, though, could instill the necessary attitudes people must have towards PWDs: thoughtful, tolerant, and instinctive.

“We need to inspire the persons with disabilities to stand up for their rights, and this is one way of exercising that, recognize us as people and not for our impairments,” Leila Benaso

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Harthy Satina

1https://www.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/pwd-friendly-city/

2https://businessmirror.com.ph/19-hotels-recognized-for-being-pwd-friendly/

3http://www.manilatimes.net/15-makati-establishments-pwd-friendly/151967/

4http://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/metro-manila/02/18/16/look-phs-first-pwd-friendly-bus

5https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/02/09/audit-up-for-establishments-to-be-pwd-friendly/

6https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/disabled-friendly

7https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disabled

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

Quezon City

Having around 27,600 persons with disabilities (PWDs) in 2010*, Quezon City has started caring for its PWD residents in August of 2009.

It has considered expanding then the D. Tuazon Elementary School so that the PWDs undergoing treatment or rehabilitation at the National Orthopedic Hospital can study there.

The city has also conducted its first summit for PWDs on this day last year with the theme, “Making Rights Real for Filipinos with Disability.” Involved in the said activity are the Social Services Development Department (SSDD), National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA), Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Education-Special Education (DEPED-SPED) Division.

Recently, its current mayor signed Executive Order No. 10 establishing the Quezon City Persons with Disability Affairs Office (QC-PDAO). It will be the lead agency that would address the issues and concerns of PWDs, and will be manned by Arnold de Guzman from the City Planning and Development Office and Renato Cada from the City Public Employment Service Office.

The city has also assigned about 8% of the schools in it to have polling precincts for PWDs. It is ‘doing well with its wheelchair-accessible hallways’ and had given IDs for them that come along with two booklets, the Medicine Purchase Slip Booklet and the Grocery Purchase Slip Booklet.

Problem

But those are not enough.

A father of a child with autism had tried to use the PWD ID to buy his son some donuts at J.CO (SM Fairview). However, the cashier told him that the establishment would not honor the ID unless its holder is present himself/herself. The father ended paying the whole amount of the donuts even though it was his signature at the back of the card.

Dr. Eduardo Janeiro, the regional director of the Center for Health Development (CHD) also observed that there is a need to implement a national health program on disability. Psychosocial and behavioral disabilities are not mental disabilities, after all. Those with them are “educationable” as well as those with learning disabilities.

A precise data on the PWD population is also needed, according to Luz Cabauatan, focal person for PWDs of QC-SSDD. It would really do if the government would not just rely on the estimate from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The representative of the deaf community debated that their sector should not be referred to as hearing-impaired because deafness is not a pathological condition. Flerida Labanon, Regional Program Coordinator of the NCDA, called on to increase the efforts in promoting the rights of the PWDs that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) has endorsed.

“PWDs are part of society. They have the same rights as everybody else.” ` Luz Cabauatan

*Or a total of 1% of the 2,751,579 household population in Quezon City.

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Travis Kraft