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Office for PWD pushed

The City Council is pushing for the creation of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO).

Councilor Wilberto Al-ag, the council’s committee chair for social services, passed the proposal on first reading in a recent regular session.

“The persons with disability (PWDs), due to various kinds of restrictions in their abilities, are arguably the most disadvantaged sector in the society. Most of them even lacked the educational attainment necessary for self- advancement,” Al-ag said in the proposed ordinance.

The PDAO, according to the proposal, will serve as a structural organization, general information and liaison center for PWDs to “properly (implement) the rights and privileges afforded to the latter by the Constitution and such other pertinent special laws.”

Various Persons with Disability groups are coordinating with the Al-ag to push for the said ordinance.

“We are working closely with the Davao City Government through Councilor Al-ag to establish the Persons with Disability Affairs Office in the city and to create the Diversity Alleviation Task Force to make Davao the first inclusive city in the Philippines,” said Ryan Gersava, founder of Virtualahan, a social enterprise that provides jobs for PWDs.

“We are working with different government sectors in terms of their components and policy efforts because we can influence how policies or legislation are being ran not just in the city level but also in the national and even global level,” Gersava added.

The PDAO is proposed to be under the direct supervision of the City Mayor’s Office.

The office will conduct the plans, programs, projects and activities for PWDS to ensure their integration and participation in the formulation and implementation of policies directly affecting their welfare.

The officers who will manage the operations of PDAO will be appointed by the city mayor based on recommendations made by the CSSDO, in coordination with Cooperative Development Authority, non-government organizations, and people’s organizations.

Priority shall be given to qualified PWDs. Currently, the Association of Differently-Abled Persons (ADAP), chaired by Redendo Martinez, caters to the needs of the PWDs.

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