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Province to promote “inclusive environment” for PWDs

| by: Cris Lanie Delos Reyes

Faced with limitations and social discriminations, the Cebu Provincial Government through the Cebu Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), recently held the PWD Summit to close the gap and ensure PWDs equal treatment.

The activity aims to educate and inform the participants about their social rights on quality education, health, politics and civil rights, economics, and accessibility and employment.

Myra Tansingco, PSWDO focal person, said that by providing essential information about their rights, PWDs will be confident to face the mainstream culture.

“They want people to see their potentials, not their disability,” said Tansingco.

During the Summit, held in Ayala last July 26, John Paul Maunes, executive director of the Philippine Accessible Deaf Services (PADS) emphasized PWD’s right to participation especially in activities that will benefit them physically.

Section 15 of Republic Act 7277 states that the government will provide the PWDs training in civics, vocational efficiency, sports and physical fitness, and other skills specifically designed for them which nature of their disabilities are taken into consideration.

Maunes mentioned that people with disability are usually at risk for secondary illness because of inability or inactiveness.

Meanwhile, PSWDO also held the first-ever Search for PWD Ambassador and Ambassadress after the summit on the same day and venue. The whole-day activity showcased the talents and beauty of the representatives from different LGUs.

The candidates paraded wearing their festival costumes, besting each other in the talent portion and outsmarting their co-candidates with their answers during the Q&A portion.

Dexter Jay Crisostomo from Cordova and Rosedale Manzon representing Carcar City were declared as the 1st PWD Ambassador and Ambassadress.

Crisostomo has mobility condition but it did not stop him from showing his edge in singing and playing the guitar while Manzon showed her rhythm and timing through dancing.

The winners will hold their title for two years and they will be included in some of the activities of PSWDO around the province. (Cris Lanie delos Reyes)