GOOD NEWS FOR all people with disabilities in Zamboanga. The local government continues to strengthen – even as it has institutionalized programs and services for persons with disabilities – even before the enactment of Republic Act 10070 in 2010 which establishes mechanisms to ensure implementation of programs and services for PWDs.
City Ordinance 354 establishes the operation of the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Unit (PDAU) under the supervision of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO). Since 2011, PDAU continues to serve the 98 barangays and has the support of the national and local governments as well as non-government organizations, People’s Organizations and other PWD stakeholders.
With the CSWDO as the lead department in the formulation, implementation and coordination of social welfare and development policies and programs for the poor, vulnerable sector and disadvantaged PWDs, the PDAU and its stakeholders have achieved a number of laws intended to benefit the PWDs of Zamboanga.
And these include the City Ordinance 505 which provides cash incentives to active PWDs; free assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes and hearing aids; PWD organizations in the barangays in coordination with the 7 CSWDO field offices and barangay councils; employment of PWDs in big establishments such as malls and department stores; active participation of PWDs in sports through Paralympic games and mechanisms for the filing of charges against violators of PWD local and national laws.
Also the City Government has appropriated budget for celebrations related to the PWD sector such as the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week, PHILSPADA, Zamboanga Hermosa Festival and Christmas party – all facilitated by the Office of the City Mayor, Gender and Development (GAD) Unit and the Barangay Councils.
As of 2018, the PWD sector has a representation in the Local Youth Development Council fulfilling the government assurance that no sector will be left behind. RA 10070 amended RA 7277 otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, as amended, and for other purposes of 2010. (By Henry Salac. With additional reporting from the Zamboanga Post.)
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