DAVAO CITY, Oct 22, 2012: Groups advocating welfare for persons with disabilities must establish a national federation so they can speak as one as they seek help both from the government and the private sector, a Social Welfare official said last Thursday.
In a resource forum held here, Dulfie T. Shalim, DSWD Protective Services Bureau executive director, said persons with disabilities sector has “organizations [that] are not really federated,” making it difficult to advance its members’ interest.
Had the sector been able to unite, she said it could even have sent representatives to Congress through the party-list system.
For one, persons with disabilities sector is not as dynamic as the senior citizens, who have been able even to push for the assignment of special lanes in department stores.
“Have you written letters to these establishments, or have you made efforts to ask these establishments to also create a lane for persons with disabilities?” she asked leaders of PWD groups gathered here.
Ms. Shalim also pointed out that there is Executive Order 417 on persons with disabilities but among the government agencies, only the Department of Education is implementing it.
Under the order signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, program must be created to make members of the sector become independent. The order, for instance, states that agencies must source at least 10% of their needs for goods and services from persons with disabilities cooperatives.