1st provincial summit for PWDs held

The Cebu Provincial Government in partnership with Ayala Center Cebu conducted the first Provincial Summit for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) as part of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Month last July 24 at Ayala Cinema One.

The summit discussed various topics, such as the Accessibility Law, Magna Carta for PWDs, benefits through the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and job opportunities.

A total of 300 PWDs coming from across Cebu Province participated in the summit.

Executive Director of National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) Carmen Reyes Zubiaga said during the summit that PWDs have equal rights and are entitled to have a good education, livelihood and full participation in the society.

She also added that the National Government implemented the Republic Act No. 10070 establishing an institutional mechanism to ensure the implementation of programs and services for PWDs and direct the creation of Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) in every province, city and municipality.

PDAO plays an important role in the society by  formulating and implementing policies, plans and programs, disseminating information on programs and activities of PWDs, ensuring the plans and programs are funded by both the national and local government, and monitoring fundraising for the benefit of PWDs.

“Aside from the parents, the people in the community who have always provided us a lot of challenges nga imbis hangpun ang sector biay-biayon pa hinuon ug tagaan pagkalisud(that instead of embracing the sector it’s being despised  and left on their own)so really the opportunity is both coming from the family and society,” said Shalaine Marie Lucero, assistant regional director  for operations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7.

Lucero explained that the DSWD is not a super agency but it’s mandated that they need to support and assist the PWDs.

The other resource speakers were representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment, PhilHealth and John Paul Maunes of Gualandi Volunteer Service Program.