THE Baguio City Government will now fund disability-related events.

Councilor Art Allad-iw, in an ordinance approved this week, mandated the local government to allot funding for activities and celebrations for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

“It is therefore necessary to conduct annual activities for these other-abled persons to recognize their involvement in the development of our society and enhance further their capacity and participation in nation building,” said Allad-iw.

Activities included in the ordinance are Autism Consciousness Week, National Down Syndrome Consciousness Month, Retarded Children’s Week, Leprosy Control Week, National Rare Disease Week, Women with Disabilities Day, National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, Culmination of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week on the Birthdate of the Sublime Paralytic: Apolinario Mabini, White Cane Safety Day in the Philippines/White Cane Safety Week, Brain Attack Awareness Week, National Epilepsy Awareness Week, Cerebral Palsy Awareness and Protection Week, National Mental Week, Bone and Joint (Musculo-Skeletal) Disorder Awareness Week, National Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) Awareness Week, National Skin Disease Detection and Prevention Week, Deaf Awareness Week, and International Day of all other-abled persons in the Philippines.

Under the ordinance, a P1-million has to be allotted. It will be drawn from the one percent share from the City’s tax revenues earmarked for PWDs and senior citizens.

Recently, a petition asking for the establishment of a PWD Affairs Office separate from the office of the City Social Welfare and Development was signed by PWD groups, parents of children with special needs, advocates and stakeholders.

The petitioners asked Mayor Maurico Domogan to allocate funding for the office from the 2017 budget, which is set to be approved by the local council.

International laws like the United Nations Convention on the Rights of PWDs and the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons aim to improve the well-being of disabled persons and their integration into the mainstream of society.

Allad-iw said its integration into mainstream society as regards education, health, sports, entertainment, employment, and other aspects of human development needs to be fully implemented.

In the city, issues on accessibility for PWDs remain dismal, with the Regional Committee on Disability Affairs reporting that buildings of some government agencies are not fit for access to PWDs. (Maria Elena Catajan)