Apolinario Mabini Award for Naga as PWD champ
By Jason B. Neola NAGA CITY --- The city government here has played a significant role in the reintegration of persons with disabilities (PWDs) to the mainstream of society. This was underscored by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc. (PFRD) in a letter sent to Naga Mayor John G. Bongat by Lourdes dela Llana Pimentel, this year’s chairperson of Apolinario Mabini Awards. Pimentel informed the city mayor that the city government of Naga has met the standards of an LGU “that has rendered exceptional services to the mass of citizens with disabilities within its jurisdiction in the last two years.” The city government of Naga has so far passed 6 PWD-centered ordinances, 11 PWD-related ordinances, 4 Sangguniang Panlungsod resolutions and 4 executive orders that champion the rights of PWDs , and support various services, projects, and programs in the interest of the sector. The Persons with Disability Office, which is headed by Christopher Molin, has also incorporated the different PWD-friendly structures and facilities that Mayor Bongat’s administration has initiated and constructed. This include ramps, parking spaces, and waiting areas designed for PWDs. At least34 PWDs have been hired as employees of the city government along with the different programs that support the livelihood, employment, and trainings of PWDs including updates about the benefits intended for them and their disability. The PFRD also commended Mayor Bongat for his efforts and hard work in implementing the city government’s policies and projects that address the needs and encourage the advancement of his PWD constituents. The Apolinario Mabini Awards was launched by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc. (PFRD) in 1974 on the occasion of its Silver Anniversary. Since then, the search has been the foundation’s major annual event. PFRD is a non-profit organization that works for the promotion of approaches that will effectively prevent disability, protect and rehabilitate the disabled and balance the opportunities for disabled individuals. “PFRD’s birth in 1949 virtually launched the rehabilitation movement in the Philippines and provided a forum for the coordination of rehabilitation activities,” according to the foundation’s website. “We are pleased to inform you that PFRD, Inc. through the Mabini Awards Committee has deemed it fit to confer upon the city government of Naga the 2017 Apolinario Mabini Award for the local government,” the letter said. Bongat will be joining other individuals and representatives of different groups and agencies who have made outstanding contributions in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities during the awards night to be held in Malacañang Palace. As of press time, a date has yet to be set for the awarding program.