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PIA Press Release
2005/01/18

No excuse for denying access to PWDs - ADAP

By Rose Palacio

Davao City (18 January) -- Persons with disabilities (PWDs) strongly believe the government and private entities have no reason for failure to provide access to PWDs.

Association of Differently-Abled Persons (ADAP) Davao president Teogenes Comiling said Section 29 of the General Appropriations Act (GAA), mandates all executive departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and state universities and colleges to “set aside at least one percent of their fiscal year budget appropriations” for programs and projects related to PWDs.

Comiling, who was joined by Engr. Darlito Palermo, managing director of the Computer Center for PWDs, during the “ARENA-XI” forum over DXRP Radyo ng Bayan said Section 31 also states that all government facilities as well as office buildings, streets and highways should provide structural features and designs” to enhance mobility, safety and welfare of PWDs pursuant to Batas Pambansa 344 of the Accessibility Law and Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.

Some ADAP members expressed dismay over the failure of some national government agencies to install accessibility features and to secure building permits from the City Engineer’s Office.

In answer to a query, the City Engineer’s Office commented that national government agencies might have assumed that a permit is no longer necessary because the building is government property.

However, permits are necessary to impress upon architects the need to install accessibility features, ADAP said.

The ADAP and city government have established an “Accessibility Watch” to monitor or inspect buildings without accessibility features and encourage the management to provide the facility for PWDs. (PIA/RPalacio) [top]

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