The government has enacted several laws to promote the welfare of persons with disabilities(PWDs) , but government services to this vulnerable sector is still wanting.
In the recently held Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Training in Baguio City, Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera admitted that PWDs have still limited access to services due to lack of participation of this sector and unawareness to their certain rights and privileges.
According to Mr. Avelino Tomas, PWD-CAR federation president, only few have PWD organizations in the six provinces of CAR.
Cordillera has the lowest number of PWDs at 26,000 as per results of 2010 Philippine Census. Of the 92.1 million household population in the country, 1,443,000 persons have disability.
To fully tap this group and maximize their contribution, the government must provide disability inclusion and easy access to services, it was pointed out.
Service providers like the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSDWO) should go out in barangays to identify persons with disability to inform them of their special privileges as stated in Executive Order No. 417.
DSWD-CAR said that MSWDO cannot attend fully to the PWD sector due to many tasks at hand but they assured that MSWDs are doing their ability to complete the profiling of PWDs in the six provinces.
Tomas stressed that government should attend to the PWDs, however, it should not “babysit” them. After rehabilitation and development programs, an access to economic independence program should tailor-fit necessary measures such as livelihood trainings and workshops to help them get a job for themselves, he said./JDP/GBBrioso-PIA CAR, Abra