In celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda has called for inclusive and equitable growth that would reduce the barriers faced by persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Legarda underscored the need for the government to invest more in socio-economic programs that will empower PWDs as active members of their respective communities and help them cope with the ongoing pandemic.
“As we continue to promote equal rights and benefits for every Filipino, let us not neglect the welfare of our kababayan who have disabilities. With their skills and talent, strong will and dedication, they can play a vital role in nation-building despite their condition,” said Legarda, one of the principal authors of the Amendment to the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability (Republic Act 11228).
Legarda also encouraged all PWDs to avail of government programs for livelihood and skills development under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“We have to bring the government programs closer to the people, especially to those who face greater barriers in accessing them. We must continue to understand and know more about the needs and challenges of those living with disabilities for us to be able to serve them and assist them better,” Legarda added.
The former three-term senator also urged the national and local governments to intensify the updating of PWDs database to ensure that they receive the benefits and services due to them.
“Their disability does not mean inability. Our PWDs inspire me to continue to push for legislation and support programs for their welfare and rights. I believe in their capacity to lead and progress on their own. Let us promote an equitable and inclusive Philippines that will provide access to capacity building, skills development, and entrepreneurship for all PWDs,” stressed Legarda, who is also one of the authors of Filipino Sign Language Act (RA 11106).
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