Regional Center for disabled trains 100 a year
By Danny O Sagun
Dagupan City (24 June) -- The Area I Vocational Rehabilitation Center here produces at least a hundred trained persons with disabilities (PWDs) every year, according to the centerís training superintendent.
Trainees, who come from as far as Cordillera and Cagayan can become successful masseurs or therapists, tailors, dressmakers or even musicians, said Elizabeth Manuel, who told the Pantongtongan Tayo radio program of the Philippine Information Agency over Radyo ng Bayan Tuesday that the center already produced many successful PWDs since it started operations 47 years ago or in 1962. "Di ko na mabilang kung ilan yong nag-graduate," she said when asked if she had the number of successful trainees.
The center, which caters to PWDs from Regions 1, 2, 3 and the Cordillera Administrative Region, provides free training, billeting and a daily allowance of P75, Manuel said. She clarified that massage and reflexology courses are exclusive for the blind to prevent unfair competition.
Dagupan itself provides training for PWDs from the city, according to Josephine de Vera, who heads the PWD section of the city social welfare and development office. She said those aged 14 and below are enrolled at the Stimulation and Therapeutic Activity Center while the Training and Development Center caters for the young adults.
De Vera, herself a polio victim, said the training centers are being operated by the city in cooperation with the Kapatiran ng May Kapansanan sa Pilipinas, Inc. or Kampi. "Hindi pampulitika yan kundi samahan ng mga PWDs," she clarified in jest. She heads the regional Kampi board.
The two radio guests said that the main goal of the government training centers is to give opportunities to the PWDs to become productive and not a burden for their families or to the society. "Huwag nyo silang itago, bigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon na mabuhay ng normal," they said, calling out on the families of PWDs.
The country observes on July 17-23 the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation week with the theme "Tungo sa Katuparan ng Karapatan ng PWDs."
Several activities were lined up in the city thru the social welfare office and AVRC.
At least 10 percent of the population has mental or physical disabilities. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]