Feature: Privileges and incentives for differently-abled
Tuguegarao City (February 29) -- Some 50 Regional Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (RCWDP) members from Regions 1, 2, 3 and CAR met recently at Baluarte, Vigan, Ilocos Sur for the first-ever RCWDP Luzon Cluster Meeting.
Among the things discussed was the Philippines' commitment to the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the enacted of RA 9442 to amend the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
According to Atty. Dulfie Tobias-Shalim, Executive Director of the National Council for the Welfare of the Disabled Persons, the amended Magna Carta grants more privileges and incentives to the differently abled and at the same ensures that the society will regard PWDs with due respect.
She said that as a result of these initiatives, PWDs can now enjoy discounts in various establishments, drugstores and public transports similar to senior citizens.
They can now enjoy a 20% discount from establishments relative to the utilization of all services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers.
Apart from this, Atty. Dulfie also said that more local government units have complied with the law to install PWD-friendly sidewalks, more buildings have constructed ramps and more public utility vehicles have reserved seats for PWDs as well as the elderly.
Meantime she said RA 9442 likewise prohibits verbal, non-verbal ridicule and vilification against PWDs, violation of the provisions entails fines from P50,000 to P100,000 and imprisonment for 2 years for the first offense. For succeeding offenses P200,000 and imprisonment of not more than 6 years. Cancellation of business permits, permit to operate or franchise for establishments who likewise violate the law.
To sustain the gains made with PWDs, Atty. Dulfie said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has allotted P4 billion for vocational trainings, scholarships and work training grants so that PWDs can have a fair chance of competing with non-disabled in entrepreneurial activities.
For mainstreaming of PWDs, she said PGMA also encouraged the hiring of qualified PWDs in business establishments and government offices as well. (PIA Cagayan) [top]