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"Kapag may access, May Success”
« on: July 19, 2008, 01:33:54 PM »
By Rey Anthony Chiu
PIA

  Being blind is no hindrance for Mateo Quilas, who has been pretty tied up with an advocacy of elevating Boholanos with disabilities into getting the same treatment as ordinary persons.

  Quilas reported that the Bohol Federation of Persons with Disabilities Incorporated (BFPDI) formerly Bohol Federation of Disabled Persons (BFDP) in cooperation with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD), peoples organizations and non-governments are now completing the final steps in networking with local persons with disability (PWD) organizations so identification cards can be granted.

  The identification cards are part of the nationwide plan to implement the rights of persons with disabilities as mandated by the Magna Carta for PWDS.

  The Magna Carta mandates full PWD access to 7 rights: education, employment, health, auxiliary social services, telecommunications, accessibility and political and civil rights, explains a regional social worker Shalaine Marie Lucero. Lucero attended the launching of local activities in celebration of the week here in Tagbilaran. 

  The aim is to mainstream PWDS and urge government and non government authorities and private companies to give chance to PWDs, Quilas stressed, while explaining “access”. 

  “Just give them a chance and they would surely excel. They have the work ethics, and the sincere attitude,” bared Lucero

  The amended Magna Carta also provides that the country’s working force should at least include 5% from the PWDS, she added.

  At the recent Kapihan sa PIA, Quilas along with a non-government organization operating the Stimulation and Therapeutic Activity Centers in Bohol, and PSWD Constancia Tuñacao discussed and assessed the level of access that has been granted to Boholano PWDs.

  The activity was in celebration of the 38th National disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week every July 17-23.

  This year’s national celebration adopts the theme; “Kapag may access, May Success”.

  For PSWD Tuñacao, their attempt of setting up reliable partners for persons with disabilities “so they could fully enjoy their rights” may be her last official act before she hits her retirement. Tuñacao is already at a ripe age for retirement.

  Their efforts, along with a heaven sent NGO, the Breaking Barriers for Children and Youth (BBCY) in Bohol has finally allowed them a closer look at the social and cultural dimensions of PWDs.

  Seeing that the PWDs now are slowly given their rights and privileges due them may be my last noble act to cap my government service, Tuñacao said.

  BBCY, through Irene Villa reported that their setting up of the STAC centers allowed them to note about 400 children with dis-abilities here, an alarming number considering that they only have Tubigon, Ubay, Jagna, Batuan and Tagbilaran main STAC center operating. 

  She then calls parents who have children with cognitive, behavioral and sensory disability problems to come to any BBCY STAC center to avail of free rehabilitation and therapy, special education classes or referrals for treatment.

  With this, the PSWD has called BBCY the “right institution to intervene to prevent and rehabilitate differently-abled persons” and without these efforts, she “could imagine beggars filling ours streets.” 

  She added, “It’s not desirable to have persons with disabilities getting dependent on the public.”

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