Popularize rights of PWDs, urges NCDA
By Venus H. Sarmiento
Dagupan City (26 February) -- The National Committee on Disability Affairs is exerting all efforts to popularize the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and provide them with a better quality of life.
Cynthia Bariga of NCDA announced during the quarterly meeting of the regional committee on disability affairs that the Philippines has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The National Human Rights action plan on the convention on the rights of PWDs was also finished, she said.
"One of the objectives of the plan of action is to harmonize the national and local legislations of our country with that of the UN legislations. Tiitignan natin ang mga polisiya natin kung naka-harmonize sa UN," Bariga said.
Another objective, she said, is to popularize the rights of PWDs. This will let ‘duty- bearers’ know their obligations to ‘claimholders.’
"Yung Magna Carta, ilang taon ng batas, hindi pa alam. Example ay yung RA 9442 nung 1997. Yung sa issuance ng IDs till now, marami ang di pa nakakakuha ng ID nila," Bariga explained.
Popularization of rights must be done to uplift the quality of life of PWDs because she said, "75 % of taong may kapansanan ay marginalized."
"When the PWDs know their rights and the government leaders know their duties, the disabled people can avail of packages and benefits to be given by the local government units and NGOs," she added.
Bariga lamented that the survey questionnaire of the National Statistics Office for every household has no question or clause concerning PWDs. Only the Department of Health has survey data on PWDs but this, she said, does not show the real score.
"During the 2004 registration program of DOH, PWDs number to 954,00 or only close to a million, but in our researches, there are about nine million of them all over the country," Bariga said.
She said the reason could be the cultural insight that family members are afraid or ashamed to publicly admit a household member is disabled.
"Ang nasa isip nila, pag may kapansanan ang isang bata, ganyan na lang siya, hanggang dun na lang. Di nila naisip na may mga oportunidad sa mga ganun. Magiging productive sila kung mabibigyan ng oportunidad," she explained. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]