BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan has signed a city council resolution strongly urging all banks operating in the Summer Capital to accommodate, without discrimination, differently abled/other-abled persons, particularly those who are visually-impaired, in the opening of bank accounts.
Authored by councilors Arthur Allad-iw and Franscisco Roberto Ortega VI, the measure cites RA No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons that declares it a policy of the State to give its “full support to the improvement of the total well-being of disabled persons and their integration into the mainstream of society.”
The RA also provides that “disabled persons have the same rights as other people to take their place in society. They should be able to live freely and as independent as possible. This must be the concern of everyone – the family, community and all government and non-government organizations. Disabled person’s rights must never be perceived as welfare service by the government.”
The approved measure states that almost all collecting government agencies like PAG-IBIG, Philhealth, SSS, among others, are implementing an electronic payment and collection system in the remittance of premium contributions or loans.
It cites the case of Good Care Multi-Purpose Cooperative, an entity of visually impaired persons (VIPs) engaged in massage service, that tried to open bank accounts but they were allegedly not accommodated by some banks because they use thumb marks instead of written signatures.
According to the cooperative, the rural banks are accommodating the opening of bank accounts of the visually impaired members but unfortunately, the rural banks are allegedly not accredited by collecting government offices. “Inasmuch as the VIPs want to comply with government requirements on electronic remittances, they cannot do so because of the limited number of banks that are accommodating them. They also wish to open their accounts in banks of their own choice just like what other members of society do,” the resolution states./Gaby Keith