1st little people association in Bicol formed in Naga
By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay
Officers of the first ever Naga City Little People Association (NCLPA) took their oath of office before Mayor Nelson Legacion, Councilor Elmer Baldemoro, chairperson of the Committee on Persons with Disability (PWD), Paul John Barrosa chief of Persons with Disability Office (PDAO) ,and other members of the Sangguniang Panglunsod, on Monday, Aug. 2.
The association is the first organization of little people in the Bicol region. It consists of persons afflicted with dwarfism, or those characterized with short stature as a result of a genetic or medical condition. People who belong to this sector usually have an adult size of 4 ft 10 inches (147 centimeters) or less.
In an interview, Barrosa said that the association was created on July 28, 2021 with the thought of giving its members equal opportunity along with other PWD sectors.
“They will be part of the government’s usual participatory process, lagi natin silang kokonsultahin, lagi natin silang bibigyang imbitasyon sa ating programa. Tatanungin natin sila kung ano yung mga kailangan nila at bibigyan natin sila ng livelihood opportunities,” Barrosa said.
NCLPA President Gregorio Balahibo expressed his appreciation to the Naga City government’s PWD committee and PDAO for acknowledging their presence and for ushering their integration into the mainstream society.
“I am overwhelmed that on the culmination of the celebration of PWDs, little people were given a voice and were included in the PWD as one of its acknowledged sectors. Aside from the programs na kasali na kami, I want other people like me to live a normal life,” Balahibo said.
LITTLE PEOPLE The officers of the newly organized Naga City Little People Association (NCLPA) pose with city officials after taking their oaths of office on Aug. 3.
Baldemoro, who chaired the PWD committee expressed his full support to the new organization especially in this time of the pandemic.
“The association of little people of Naga City was organized to impart to them the programs and services for PWD and also to hear their concerns and suggestions to the city government,” Baldemoro stated.
Currently, the association has 21 members. Barrosa is confident that more will be coming out to join the organization now that it is already acknowledged by the city. He encouraged those who are in the said sector to register so that they can be included in the programs and benefits that the city will extend to them in the near future.
Last month, Naga City joined the nationwide celebration of the PWD Month with the theme “Kalusugan at Kaunlaran ng Pilipinong May Kapansanan, Isulong sa Gitna ng Pandemya.”
Some of the activities conducted by the city through the Committee on PWD include the: awarding of winners in the poster making contest; distribution of food packs to indigent PWDs; monthly food assistance to bedridden PWDs in the city; medical check-up for PWDs and elderlies in partnership with Help Learning Center Foundation, Inc. thru Dra. Fe Delos Reyes and staff; and provision of free vitamins for the children thru Councilor Baldemoro and the office of Cong. Gabriel Hidalgo Jr for the vitamins for adults. (LSM/PIA5/Camarines Sur)