Naga mayor OKs PWD ordinance
NAGA CITY --- Mayor Nelson S. Legacion has approved an ordinance codifying the policies and programs of Naga City on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), citing all the benefits and services allotted for the use and convenience of differently-able residents here.
The local legislation is the first Persons with Disability Code enacted by a local government unit (LGU) in the Philippines.
Authored by Councilor Elmer S. Baldemoro, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panglunsod’s Committee on Persons with Disabilities, Ordinance No. 2020-072 cited the need to put the city’s programs and services in one order by understanding the “inherent limitations of PWDs’ mobility and capability,” particularly those in the marginalized sector.
“This is in consonance with the essence of what social justice means, which provides that those who have less in life should have more in law. It is imperative for the city government of Naga to provide all the necessary protection and benefits to PWDs,” Baldemoro said.
The ordinance otherwise known as the “Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Code of Naga City,” aims to uplift the lives of PWDs by allowing them to be an active member of the society by giving them employment opportunities, promote their participation in political process and decision-making, and enhance their access to physical environment, public transportation, knowledge, information, and communication, among others.
Mayor Nelson Legacion (4th from left), Vice Mayor Cecilia “Nene” de Asis (3rd from left) and Councilor Elmer Baldemoro (5th from left) show the signed copies of the Ordinance Codifying the Policies and Programs of the City of Naga on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) during the signing ceremony held at the City Hall Grounds on Aug. 10, 2020. Witness to the signing are (from left); PWD Federation President Jun Agomaa, Butch Robredo, head of the Naga City Visually Impaired Association (NACIVIA), and PJ Barrosa, chief of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO). (JRM-PIAV/Camarines Sur)
PWDs, as one of the most vulnerable sectors of the society also need social protection, which is one of those highlighted provisions in the PWD Code. The said ordinance also intends to expand early intervention and education of children with disabilities and ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The PWD sector, under the code, is also included in the master plan of disaster preparedness as they are protected under the disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and management program of the city.
The PWDs will be issued identification cards, which will be used to facilitate the efficient delivery of services, privileges and benefits allotted for PWDs under the local law.
The city government has also expanded the scope of the services of Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) by making it as a full-pledged city department from the current division level under the Office of the Mayor.
Under the said ordinance, all registered PWDs will enjoy the following privileges: assistive devices like wheelchair; hearing aid; crutches; eyeglasses and other similar devices; food assistance for those abandoned and bedridden; scholarship and education support; and also medical assistance.
The city government shall also give burial assistance, free movie in cinemas in Naga City, and a delicious cake delivered right at the front doors of every PWDs celebrating their birthdays.
PWDs in Naga are required to register at the PDAO to get their Enhanced PWD identification card or ePWD ID. The ID will help the PWDs facilitate the efficient delivery of services, privileges and benefits accorded to them under the the ordinance. -PIAV/Camarines Sur