DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The City Council passed the creation of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) on the first reading.
Councilor Wilberto Al-ag, the Committee Chairman for social services authored the said ordinance.
“The persons with disability, due to various kinds of restrictions in their abilities, are arguably the most disadvantaged sector in the society. Most of them even lack the educational attainment necessary for self- advancement,” the proposed ordinance said.
The PDAO, according to the proposal, will serve as a structural organization, general information and liaison center for persons with disability to “properly (implement) the rights and privileges afforded to the latter by the Constitution and such other pertinent special laws”.
Various Persons with Disability groups are coordinating with the said Council Committee to push for the said ordinance.
“We are working closely with the Davao City Government through Councilor Al-ag to establish the Persons with Disability Affairs Office in the City to create the Diversity Alleviation Task Force to make Davao the first inclusive city in the Philippines,” Virtualahan, a social enterprise that provides job for PWDs, Founder Ryan Gersava said in an interview.
“We are working with different government sectors in terms of their components and policy efforts because we can influence how policies or legislation are being run, not just in the city level, but also in the national and even global level,” Gersava added.
The PDAO shall be under the direct supervision of the City Mayor’s Office.
The said Office will conduct the plans, programs, projects, and activities for PWDS to ensure the integration and participation of the latter in the formulation and implementation of policies directly affecting their welfare.
The PDAO Officers who shall manage and run the operations of PDAO will be appointed by the City Mayor based on recommendations made by the CSSDO, in coordination with CCDA, NGOs, and POs, which shall temporarily staff the PDAO in transition.
Priority shall be given to qualified PWDs.
Currently, the Association of Differently-Abled Persons (ADAP) chaired by Redendo Martinez, President, caters the needs of the PWDs. (davaotoday.com)