Tag Archives: polio

Safety first!

Filipino journalists deployed in “difficult, strife-torn, and embattled areas” might have “adequate mandatory hazard pay and commensurate insurance” once the Senate Bill 1860 is passed.

Filed by the chair of the senate committee on social justice, welfare and rural development Sen. Leila de Lima, the “Journalists’ Protection Act of 2018” would require media entities to give members of the press (a) a hazard pay equivalent to at least 25 percent of the gross monthly salary of the journalist, (b) an insurance of P350,000 for disability and up to P200,000 for hospitalization, and (c) a special insurance program for freelance journalists by Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System.

The hazard pay shall not be subjected to tax and the death benefits amounting to 300,000 shall be given to all media practitioners and employees who will die in the line of duty.

Had this been thought of before November 23, 2009, the 34 journalists who have gone with former vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu of Buluan1 would have been benefited. They were kidnapped and killed then, prompting the Committee to Protect Journalists2 to call what happened that day as “the single deadliest event for journalists in history.”

Or Arturo Acosta Borjal before he succumbed to lung cancer. He was just three years old when he had been struck with polio, a viral disease causing muscular paralysis and skeletal atrophy and deformity.

The son of Arsenio V. Borjal and Marta Acosta Borjal just persevered. He studied humanities and law degrees at the Ateneo de Manila University (he was the school paper’s editor-in-chief and president of the Debating Team and the Supreme Student Council before he finished Law), keeping in mind his reason for doing so: to fight for the dignity and rights of fellow Filipinos with disabilities.

AAB had principally authored Republic Act 72773 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. He had dedicated his daily column in The Philippine Star to appeal for help for the sector and commend government and welfare organizations that assist it. He had also directed Tahanang Walang Hagdan (Home with No Stairs) and had hosted two public affairs programs of GMA7, “Issues and Answers” and “No Holds Barred.”

He had been the executive director of the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP)4, too. And the 1990s had been such a decade for him. He became the president of the City College of Manila (CCM), appointed as Sectoral Representative for the Disabled in the Eighth Congress, founded Abilympics Philippines, chairman of Gulong sa Pagsulong project, and speaker/delegate to the 16th World Congress of Rehabilitation International in Tokyo, Japan.

The first Filipino journalist ever elected as president of the Manila Overseas Club and the National Press Club, AAJ received the City Government of Manila’s 1981 Outstanding Citizen of Manila, Ateneo de Manila University’s 1961 Distinguished Leadership Awardee, Rotary Club of Manila’s 1986 Newspaperman of the Year, and Catholic Mass Media Awards’ 1986 Best Opinion Columnist. He was the director of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) at the time of his death.

“The press is considered as the fourth estate, a significant pillar of our democracy. However, journalism and reporting the news remains to be a dangerous profession.” ~ Sen. Leila de Lima

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Love KIMXI

Notes: Aside from the Senate Bill 1860, Sen. De Lima also principally authored the Senate Bill 1197 or the “Act Defining Extrajudicial Killing and Providing for its penalty.” She has conducted four hearings on this subject during her chairpersonship of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and delivered three privilege speeches on extrajudicial killings and fake news.

1The capital of Maguindanao since 2014, Buluan is a 4th class municipality subdivided into seven barangays.

2The Committee to Protect Journalists is a New York-based independent non-profit, non-governmental organization with correspondents around the world. It promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists, earning it the name “Journalism’s Red Cross”.

3The law, promulgated by former president Corazon Aquino in March 24, 1992, provided for the rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance of PWDs by giving them equal access to education and employment and easier mobility in public establishments.

4It was renamed the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).

Disability in Filipino women

For one school of thought, women with disabilities face “double discrimination” because of their gender and disability. Another see it as a “triple discrimination” since women with disabilities also have to live in poverty as a result of inequality in hiring, promotion rates and pay for equal work.

In the Philippines, in particular, women with disabilities are more likely to be institutionalized. They experience difficulty in attaining access to adequate housing, health, education, vocational training and employment. There were conventions—the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, the General Assembly resolution 63/150 of 18 December 2008, the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to name a few—that ensure their rights and urges states to pay special attention to their needs but it hadn’t been enough.

Among of the disabilities common in Filipino women are poliomyelitis, blindness, and deafness.

Poliomyelitis—or simply polio—is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease. It can lead to paralysis and debilitate a person’s brain and spinal cord. It didn’t dishearten Gracia Cielo “Grace” Magno Padaca, though. She has become the governor of Isabela since 2004 and has received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 2008.

A lack of vision brought about by a severe reaction to over-the-counter medications affected the eyesight of Roselle Rodriguez Ambubuyog when she was six years old. Despite her blindness, Roselle graduated with the highest honors from the Holy Infant Montessori in 1986, Batino Elementary School in 1993, Ramon Magsaysay High School-Manila in 1997, and Ateneo de Manila University in 2001. She is currently an access technology specialist working for software and hardware companies in Europe and North America while here in the Philippines.

Deafness is the complete inability to hear sound. Its only method of treatment is a hearing aid, a device worn in the ear that amplifies the volume of sound electronically. It’s what had afflicted Ana Kristina Arce when she was born, a class valedictorian at the Philippine School for the Deaf, a magna cum laude at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (CSB), and a degree holder at the Gallaudet University. She is currently the graphic artist in CSB.

Also deaf, Gilda Nakahara uses pen, paper, and the Filipino Sign Language to run the Nakahara Lodging and Travel Agency, a travel and tour business primarily for deaf people around the world. She has been recognized at the Go Negosyo Caravan for People with Disabilities in De Salle –College of St. Benilde in 2007 and has helped establish a deaf organization in  Eastern Samar.

“Everyone experiences disabilities one way or another; mine is just more obvious than yours. We are all fortunate to have loved ones, who help us bear the burdens brought about by our weaknesses. We may find ourselves in the dark, but we should not be afraid to move forward, because we have the light of our stars to count on, and to be thankful for.” ~ Roselle Rodriguez Ambubuyog

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Osmosis

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Molly Burke

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Howcast

Disability in Filipino men

Among of the disabilities common in Filipino men are poliomyelitis, stroke, Freeman Sheldon Syndrome, blindness, chronic osteomyelitis, and deafness.

Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a disease that could cripple a person. Its virus (called the poliovirus) can spread from person to person and invade the infected person’s brain and spinal cord. It was what had afflicted Rico Marquez, a Leyte native who was still able to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology at the Baptist Theological College in Cebu. He was also still able to finish master degrees in Divinity and Educational Leadership at the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California then founded a church for the Filipinos in Pinole. He had a wife and two children.

Stroke, on the other hand, is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). It was what had caused paralysis in Fernando Kabigting’s right hand. It was also what had blinded the left eye of the painter. He just struggled to continue painting with his left hand using watercolor and had solo exhibitions at the United Nations in New York City, the Ayala Museum in Makati, and at the Italia Gallery in Bacolod.

A condition that primarily impinges on the face, hands, and feet, Freeman Sheldon Syndrome is the disorder that Raymond Martin had been born with. His unusually small mouth (microstomia) did not stop him to win gold medals, though, during the London 2012 Paralympic Games where he was recognized as the Sportsman of the Year.

Otherwise known as visual impairment, blindness refers to a lack of vision. It can be partial, which means a very limited vision; or complete, which means not being able to see anything, even light. People in third-world nations usually have poor vision and this was what Ronnel del Rio had been afflicted with. Despite his physical limitation, though, Ronnel still became a “voice of reason and awareness,” heading the Philippine Chamber of Massage Industry for Visually Impaired, the Federation of Disabled Persons in Lipa, and the PWD advocacy group Punlaka once. He also became involved with the Philippine Coalition on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Philippine Mental Health Association, and the Housing and Homesite Regulatory Affairs Office in Batangas. He has had a Master’s degree on Management Technology in De La Salle University in 2003.

Osteomyelitis is the infection of the bone and the bone marrow. It may be subdivided into acute, subacute, and—what power lifter and swimmer and mountain climber Arnold Balais is in—chronic stages. This phase did not deter him in competing for the Paralympics, ASEAN Paralympics, and the Malaysian Paralympiad, though.

Not being able to hear partially or completely has still led Romalito “Rome” Mallari to win the Best New Actor in a Movie during the 2010 Star Award for Movies. He was also nominated for a Golden Screen Award for his roles in Ganap na Babae and Dinig Sana Kita. Most recently, he was involved in the 2015 film Taklub, which was screened and well received at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Have faith that you have the potential, the capacity to succeed. God will give you strength to finish and accomplish your dreams.” ~ Rico Marquez

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of khanacademymedicine

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of HealthSketch

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of dimedcom

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Amal Vision

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Dr. Najeeb Lectures

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Jessica Le

Inclusive Education in Kenya

Aside from the magic its tourism board asserts, Kenya has provided for the rights and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities in the country. It has paved the way for the establishment of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities and the National Development Fund for Persons with Disabilities, fining anyone who would offend PWDs with up to twenty thousand shillings or to a year of imprisonment.

The Kenya Persons with Disabilities Act 2003 has exempted PWDs as well from paying for the recreational facilities owned or operated by the Government. Materials, articles and equipment, including motor vehicles, could also be exempted from import duty, value added tax, demurrage charges, port charges, and any other government levy if they are modified or designed for PWDs.

In the country’s courts, Kenyan PWDs do not have to pay legal fees. The latter—may they be the victim or the accused—have been entitled to free sign language interpretation, Braille services and physical guide assistance.

All television stations in Kenya shall provide for a sign language inset or sub-titles in all newscasts. All persons providing public telephone services shall install and maintain units for persons with either hearing or visual disabilities.

Kenya’s respect for the PWDs in it started as far back as 1980 when it declared the National Year for People with Disabilities. Its Ministry of Education even initiated the Educational Assessments and Resource Services to improve its services for special education students.

Four years after the Kenya Persons with Disabilities Act 2003 has been passed, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was signed. It was ratified the next year and became the basis for the National Kenyan Constitution in recognizing disability rights.

Locally, Kenya has been helped by the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) that consists of the Kenya National Association of the Deaf, Kenya Society of the Physically Handicapped, and other organizations. It has appointed a taskforce to review the laws related to PWDs and collect the public views.

Internationally, it has five international organizations to assist PWDs: the Christian Blind Mission (CBM), the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), the Sightsavers, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the Leonard Cheshire Disablity.

The CBM Kenya has been working against “blinding trachoma” and aims to eliminate the disease completely by 2019. It was funded by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust carrying out surgeries, distributing antibiotics, educating communities, and improving environmental conditions to prevent trachoma.

The DREDF, first established in Berkeley, California in 1979, is a legal service center backing up disability rights. It has started the Disability and Media Alliance Project http://d-map.org/ to bring the disability community and the media industry together, and continues to shape the legal and policy strategies needed to promote its vision in the United States and worldwide.

The Sightsavers, on the other hand, believes that 80% of blindness in the world is avoidable. So it has helped the citizens of India, Africa, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Sudan, and Ghana with eye problems.

It has also assisted 13-year-old Flash Odiwuor even though he has another kind of ailment: polio. He was struck down with it and lost the use of both his legs. Only through the Sightsavers’ inclusive education program was he able to go back to school—at the Nyaburi Integrated Primary School, to be exact—along with other Kenyans who can see.

The IFES has more or less the same vision as the DREDF: it aims to empower the underrepresented. But unlike the DREDF that focuses on everything that entails a legal process, the IFES has provided technical assistance to election officials so that everyone can participate in the said political process.

The Leonard Cheshire has pioneered inclusive education strategies for girls with disability in Kenya. It has targeted 2,050 female PWDs in 50 primary schools in the Lake Region.

“I am so happy to be back at school. The headmaster gave me a wheelchair so I can now move around as much as I want.” ~ Flash Odiwuor

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Luke Sniewski