An advocacy group appealed to the city government to take action against people, including radio broadcasters, who use offensive words toward persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Redendo Martinez, the officer-in-charge of the Association of the Differently-Abled Persons (ADAP) said statements, such as “ngano, pungkol ka (why, are you an amputee)?” are “offensive and discriminatory to the PWD brothers and sisters.”
“It has been observed that the expression ‘ngano, pungkol ka?’ is usually uttered by many in negative response to the request by one person to the other,” Martinez said.
According to Martinez, even without malice, it still doesn’t excuse somebody to utter words that mocks the limitations of the PWD sector.
“Although without intention to hurt the feelings of our PWDs, but this expression is an insult against the PWD sector by making fun of its physical limitation,” he added.
Other expressions that apparently mocked PWDs include “Buta ka (Are you blind)?” and “Gikan riot?” or “Adunay riot?” (There is a riot, an expression used when someone sees a person with a walking disability).
Martinez said they have sent a letter to Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte to act on the matter, citing that such mockery is already prohibited in the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability or RA 9442.
“This is already provided in RA 9442. Our purpose of this action is to make the public aware that using such words is offensive and degrading on the part of the PWD sector,” he said.
Rule number five of the said law prohibits verbal, non-verbal ridicule, and vilification against persons with disability.
The ADAP will push the council to enact a legislation through the committee on social services chaired by Councilor Wilberto Al-ag for public awareness.
Martinez said they are awaiting for Al-ag to include the matter on his privilege speech. He added that they recently discussed the matter last Friday.
He also advised radio and other broadcast platforms that use the said statement. “This can be a ground for litigation,” he said emphasizing the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability.
Based on the law, for the first violation, a fine of not less than P50,000 but not exceeding to P100,000 and/or imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than two years.
For subsequent violation, a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P200,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than six years.