NEGROS Occidental Representative Ma. Lourdes Arroyo (Fifth District) was named chairman of the Special Committee on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the House of Representatives.
The newly-created committee will oversee all measures addressing the welfare of the PWDs.
Arroyo said the creation of the committee is timely considering the amount of measures that must be taken to ensure that the welfare and concerns of PWDs are being addressed.
"The PWDs sector is one of the most overlooked sectors in the country. For such a long time, PWDs have been enduring difficulty compounded by additional setbacks in the built-in infrastructure of our civic and social services that have not progressed enough to include PWDs and take into account their needs. This committee that I will be heading will seek to implement measures that can be taken to address factors pertaining to PWDs that have been overlooked in the past, and guarantee that the well-being of PWDs will be prioritized," Arroyo said.
Since it is a newly established committee, the re-organization of the committee is underway, and the official committee meetings that will deliberate the current measures referred to the Committee on Social Services which used to handle the bills for PWDs will start in February.
Arroyo, who was appointed chairman, already filed House Bill 2224, "PWD-friendly and Safe Transportation Act," which aims to institutionalize a PWD-friendly transportation program in order to address the concerns and rights of PWDs as commuters.
Under the proposed measure, all public utility vehicles (PUV) operators and owners are mandated to upgrade their PUVs by providing passenger boarding ramps or lifts, spaces for wheelchairs and other safety accessories such as seatbelts, clamps, and grab bars to provide safety and comfort for PWD commuters.
The legislator from the Fifth District is also the vice chairperson of the Committee on Health and Committee on Senior Citizen, and member of the Committee on Women and Gender Equality, Committee on Welfare of Children and Committee on Visayas Development.