THE creation of a Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) in Baguio City was underscored during the city’s celebration of the 2017 National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation and White Cane Safety Week.

Jill Malingan of PDAO La Trinidad, Benguet served as the guest speaker during the culminating activity at SM City Baguio with the theme, “Karapatan at Pribilehiyo ng Maykapansanan, Isakatuparan at Ipaglaban.”

Liza Bulayungan and Rowena Bagnas also delivered messages on behalf of city social welfare and development officer Betty Fangasan and councilor Arthur Allad-iw, respectively.

Malingan encouraged local officials to create the city’s own PDAO whose functions include helping authorities in crafting policies and strategies that would benefit individuals with special needs, among others.

The three speakers expressed their hopes that the local government and concerned agencies together with other sectors will continue to work together for the protection of the rights not only of those with disabilities but of everyone.

City officials led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Congressman Mark Go and Vice-Mayor Edison Bilog have often stressed that Baguio does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and that everyone is treated equally.

Among the activities conducted were an eco-tour, sportsfest, talent contests, advocacy on disability awareness in various barangays, dental care, exhibit of products by persons with disabilities (PWDs) and a forum on the Magna Carta for PWDs. (PR)