Iloilo set to boost PWDs rights, privileges


ILOILO – In fulfilment of the province’s vision of empowered citizenry, the administration of Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. ensures that all, including the persons with disability (PWDs), have equal access to government’s basic services.

This is after the creation of Provincial Monitoring and Coordination Board, a body tasked to craft the implementing rules and regulations of Provincial Ordinance No. 2012-097 or the “Persons with Disability Ordinance of 2012”.

The Board chaired by Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Dr. Neneth Pador is made public during the culminating activity of 35th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation here on Wednesday.

Once the IRR is in place, Pador said the Board will be proactive in monitoring public’s compliance especially on the grant of discounts and other privileges to PWDs in the province.

The ordinance authored by former Vice Governor now First District Representative Oscar “Richard” Garin Jr. provides 50 percent discount to PWDs in all hospitals owned and maintained by the province. If confined, the provincial law mandates that PWDs shall be free of charge.

Another 50 percent discount is also provided to PWDs on all fees or rent for the use of structures and other similar facilities owned by the provincial government.

It also exempts PWDs from payment of Secretaries’ Fee relative to the release of their real property clearances.

Aside from these privileges, it also mandates that PWDs who have the capacity and desire to work or re-employed shall not be denied nor discriminated.

Event organizers from public and private sectors are also obliged to reserve 10 percent of all seats or spaces to PWDs and all commercial establishments are directed to establish express lane just for them.

It also mandates that PWDs shall be given priority in boarding public conveyances.

Violators of the ordinance will suffer P1,000 fine for the first offence, P2,500 for the second offence and P5,000 for the third and succeeding offence.

If the offender is a public official or employee, the penalty shall be without prejudice to the offender’s administrative liability.

If the offender is a corporation or similar entity, the manager or president in charge will be held liable.

Upon filing of complaint and after due notice and hearing, any permit, franchise or other similar privileges granted by the provincial government to any erring person or establishment may be revoked or cancelled temporarily or permanently.

At present, the province of Iloilo is home to 17,266 PWDs and there are 33 active PWDs organizations working for the promotion of their rights and welfare.  (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)

 

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