Not all of the 33 provinces, 25 cities and 282 municipalities in the Philippines have persons with disability offices. Among of the local government units investigated by Dr. Erwin Alampay, associate professor of public administration from the University of the Philippines National College for Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG), are the municipality of Carmona in Cavite; San Lorenzo Ruiz; Angeles City in Pampanga; Mandaluyong City, Quezon City, and Valenzuela City in Metro Manila; Camarines Norte; and Iloilo.
Through the office, persons with disabilities should have illimitable access to various services, such as health, employment, rehabilitation, assistive devices, education, social welfare, and disaster management. The representation could also help in pushing for a change in the sector, end poverty, ensure inclusive quality education, and promote sustainable, economic growth.
But establishing a PDAO is an unfunded mandate rooted in Republic Act 10070. In Iloilo with 425, 000 PWDs in 2010, for instance, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Services Office (PSWDO) was the one that provided programs for PWDs. Recently, it took upon itself to include PWDs in the home care centers its barangays would set up for the elderly.
Educating LGUs seems to be the only solution then, Dr. Erwin Alampay noted. Hopefully, the various stakeholders and government representatives present when the project was discussed at the Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City would do their part in complying with the law.
“I hope the PWDs will not be afraid to try, dream and work hard. Success comes when one is able to accept his limitations and disabilities, and conquer it.” ~ Virginia Montilla
- Only 60 percent of local government units have a persons with disability office (PDAO), according to a study by the UP Center for Local and Regional Governance (UP CLRG).
- The programs provided by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Services Office (PSWDO) in Iloilo were the distribution of wheelchairs, data banking, employment matching, online registration of PWDs, and search for the best PWD-friendly city.
- The home care centers in the barangays in Iloilo would be headed by the barangay captain, barangay council, Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines, persons with disability affairs office, and barangay health workers. They will be trained by the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the PWDs will be visited by barangay health workers at least once a month.
Video taken from the YouTube Channel of CLRG UP-NCPAG