Pagadian promotes PWDs’ rights, privileges

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By Gideon C. Corgue

PAGADIAN CITY, July 25 (PIA) –Discrimination is a fact of life for many groups of persons with disabilities (PWDs), but to some, discrimination was no longer felt when the national government implemented Republic Act No. 9442, otherwise known as Magna Carta for Persons with Disability.

Social Welfare Officer Saramea Ubpon, Focal person for PWD said in a recent media forum conducted by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) at Anastacia Pension House here that the city government had implemented pertinent provisions of the said law by granting the rights and privileges of PWDs.

Ubpon said the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) provided the PWDs with following programs and services: information dissemination of disability prevention advocacy, assistance to physical restoration, social and vocational preparation for employment services, issuance of PWD IDs, community based and integrated restoration program, medical intervention, among others.

Ubpon added the city government has employed 21 PWDs - six are permanent while 15 are casual. “They are all employed in the different offices of the city hall,” she stressed.

Evelyn Bunsucan, a permanent employee of the city treasurer’s office expressed her thanks to the government for allowing her to work despite her disability. “With the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, I was able to overcome certain obstacles for it has given me an equal opportunity for employment,” Bunsucan said in a local dialect.

Bunsucan started to work in 1982 and is now planning to retire in 2018 due to health reasons.

Elna Laguitao–Dopio, 43, a polio victim said she is grateful to the local government unit for implementing the provisions of the law, benefiting the PWDs in the area.

Dopio, a casual employee detailed at the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) was employed as clerk since 1983 up to present.

“Nalipay ko nga gihatagan ko sa kagamhanan ug kahigayonan nga makatrabaho bisan pa sa akong gihambin nga kabilinggan sa lawas,” Laguitao said.

(I am grateful that I was given an opportunity by the government to work despite my disability.)

Like many people with disabilities, Dopio possessed an indomitable spirit, and she refused to let her physical challenges get in the way of achieving his goals.

Dopio said it is her dream to be a permanent employee of the city government.

Meanwhile, Virginia Almirol, PESO head, said she was impressed with the work ethic of Elna.

“I am proud and impressed with the work ethic of Elna. She is an efficient and productive employee. She works with minimal supervision and she knows how to entertain clients,” Almirol assessed. (FPG/GCC/PIA9/Zamboanga del Sur)