DAVAO CITY, Philippines – An advocacy group has appealed to local legislators to take action against people who use expressions that discriminate against persons with disability (PWD).
According to Redendo Martinez, the officer-in-charge of the Association of the Differently-Abled Persons (ADAP), [commonly-used phrases like “Ngano pungkol ka?] is “offensive and discriminatory to the PWD brothers and sisters.”
“It has been observed that the (said) expression has been usually uttered by many in negative response to the request by one person to the other,” Martinez said.
According to him, even without having the intention of offending the PWD sector, it is still not an excuse to utter the words that the PWD group thinks is a mockery of their physical limitations.
“Although (it is usually uttered) without intention to hurt the feelings of our PWDs, this expression is an insult against the PWD sector (because it makes) fun of (PWDS’) physical limitations,” he added.
Martinez cited the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability or RA 9442, as legal basis to act against offending individuals.
The group also sent a letter to Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte who leads the city council.
“This is already provided in RA 9442. Our purpose of this action is to make the public aware that using such words is offensive and degrading on the part of the PWD sector,” he said.
Rule number five of the said law provides for the prohibition on verbal, non-verbal ridicule, and vilification against persons with disability.
The ADAP will push the council to enact a legislation through the committee on social services chaired by Councilor Wilberto Al-ag for public awareness.
Martinez said they are awaiting for Al-ag to include the matter on his privilege speech. He added that they recently had a committee hearing on Friday, October 18.
He also advised radio and other broadcast platforms that use the said statement.
“This can be a ground for litigation,” he said emphasizing the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability.
Based on the law, for the first violation, a fine of not less than P50,000 pesos but not exceeding to P100,000 and/or imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than two years.
For subsequent violation, a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P200,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than six years.(davaotoday.com)