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National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP)
« on: December 01, 2007, 06:56:35 AM »
By Rey Anthony Chiu
PIA - Bohol

Acting positively upon the recommendations of non-government organizations concerned with persons with intellectual disabilities, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the transfer of the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP) from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to the Office of the President (OP).

The NCWDP was created as the lead government agency tasked to formulate policies and coordinate the activities of all agencies, whether public or private, concerning disability issues and concerns, and to steer the course of program development for the welfare of disabled Filipinos.

For some time, the NCWDP was under a department of the DSWD, until the bureaucratic snags has made the program processes cumbersome to the detriment of the persons with disabilities.

While local sectors concerned have yet to know of the move and refuses to comment, social workers who could not see the logic fear that it may unhinge the efforts handled by a department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
 
If it is now under the office of the President, it may become another case like the National Commission on Indigenous People, airs Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Constancia Tuñacao cites an instance.

Other than the salaries for employees downloaded from the national government, the NCIP is now left on its own in implementing its programs, she said.

While many see the move as one which would strengthen the government programs for the welfare of persons with disabilities, the top social welfare officer here fears that the little funding which the DSWD appropriates would even be lost.

She said in as much as the programs now could be entrusted to the local governments and monitored or overseen by the OP, it’s the national government that seeks out funds, which may not be that sustainable.

Few days ago, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the President effected the transfer through Executive Order No. 676 to closely monitor and improve the government action and program development for persons with disabilities and delivery of services to the sector.

Ermita said the President signed EO 676 last Oct. 25 upon the recommendation of Philippine non-government organizations (NGOs) concerned with intellectual disabilities.

“Whereas, in order to closely monitor and oversee the efficient and effective implementation of the government’s commitment in the special programs for persons with intellectual disabilities, there is a need to transfer the NCWDP from the DSWD to the OP,” the President said.

Under EO 676, the President will appoint a representative from the private sector as chair of the NCWDP, while the DSWD secretary will continue to oversee the agency.


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