In line with the celebration of the “National Disability Week,” the Department of Health (DOH)-Calabarzon region led the distribution of various assistive devices to selected persons with disabilities (PWD) in the region during the ‘2018 PWD Health Summit’ held at the Atrium Hotel in Buendia, Pasay City.
This year’s celebration holds the theme “Kaalaman at Kasanayan Para sa Kabuhayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran” aims to promote the demand of technology and innovation alongside with the development of assistive devices for PWDs in the said region.
“Every day we are faced with repetitious tasks and challenges we considered mundane such as daily chores like washing and cleaning the dishes, taking out the trash, personal hygiene and so forth. But for some these common but instrumental tasks of daily living are outright struggles that require time, patience and occasional help from others. Fortunately, the demand for technology innovations and alongside the development of assistive devices for PWDs continues to progress to provide them support,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated during the opening program.
As one of the most overlooked members of the society, the event focused on seeking and providing the benefits for the marginalized disabled students in the areas of economic and financial assistance. Janairo also emphasized that through the assistive devices, medical interventions of specialty services shall include disabled pre-school children to day care services.
Among the 42 assistive devices and gadgets given were wheelchairs, crutches, cane, folding walker and hearing aid. Medical consultations was also conducted among the participants.
In the Philippines, PWDs are classified as people “suffering from restriction or different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.”
They are currently under Republic Act 10754 or the Act expanding the benefits and privileges of persons with disability (PWD), and are entitled to various benefits such as 20% Discount and Value Added Tax Exemption on the purchase of certain goods and services, educational assistance, benefits from GSIS, SSS and Pag-Ibig based on their respective charters, special discounts in special programs and given priority or express lanes. Among the types of disabilities are vision/visual impairment, hearing impairment, orthopedic disability, learning disability, chronic illnesses, mental disability and speech disability.
Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) recorded that in an at least 92.1 million household population, there are about 1.4 million PWDs or 1.57 percent of the total population then had disability. With said, the Calabarzon region recorded the highest number of PWDs with 193,000 followed by the National Capital Region with 167,000; Central Luzon – 139,000; Western Visayas – 138,000; and Central Visayas – 109,000. Cordillera has the lowest recorded number with 26,000.
Also, 50.9% of the PWDs noted were male while 49.1% were females with age ranging from 5 to 19 years.
In conclusion, Janairo said that they will aim to register all the PWDs across the country and will further provide support from the local government units.
“They also have equal rights as normal people do and should enjoy whatever benefits we reap. We need to provide them the motivation and encouragement to become successful and productive members of our society,” Janairo concluded.