DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A group of persons with disability (PWD) requested Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte to investigate the implementation of the Batas Pambansa 344 or the Accessibility Law in the city.
Redendo Martinez, chair of the Association of Differently-Abled Persons (ADAP), in a letter, said they have long observed that buildings in the city are not designed to be accessible to PWDs.
“We have observed that while there are ramps, most do not fit with the standards provided in the BP 344. Some are just too steep. Also, some restrooms are not designed for accessibility,” Martinez said.
These violations, the letter noted, are considered by the PWD sector as continuing crimes. “If not addressed upon, (these) will hamper the integration and inclusiveness of the sector in the mainstream of society as a matter of state policy,” Martinez said.
The group also observed that the City Engineer’s Office continues to issue Certificates of Occupancy and Building Permits to both private and public establishments despite the structures as “not being inclusive.”
In a previous interview, Martinez said they wanted to push for the investigation on the newly established buildings that do not enforce the Accessibility Law. They are ready to present evidences should the office of the Vice Mayor schedule a dialogue with them.
The Batas Pambansa 344 is also known as An Act to Enhance the Mobility of Disabled Persons by Requiring Certain Buildings, Institutions, Establishments, and Public Utilities to install Facilities and Other Devices.
“The issue of accessibility is not exclusive for the PWD sector alone, this also includes the sector of senior citizens which has mobility limitations, as well as the pregnant women,” Martinez said.
Meanwhile, the City Council already passed in First Reading the request of ADAP during their Regular Session on Tuesday, September 3. (davaotoday.com)