Guv, PB launch PWDs code

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Governor Lilia Pineda and the Provincial Board launched on Thursday Ordinance 648, enacting the Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) Code of the province which officially establishes the Provincial Council on PWDs Affairs and creates the PWDs Affairs Office under the supervision of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development.

This came as Governor Pineda announced during the "Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Day" held at Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center that the Capitol will allot one half of one percent of the annual budget of the provincial government for the education, livelihood, financial and medical assistance and other needs of the PWDs.

During the PWDs Day, Governor Pineda, Board Members Ferdinand Labung, Salvador Dimson Jr., Joseph Anthony Torres, Cherry Manalo, Ricardo Yabut, and Nestor Tolentino distributed an amount of P625,000 to 261 PWDs as educational assistance.

For this year, some 1,341 PWD beneficiaries had availed the educational assistance being given by the provincial government.

At least 1,000 PWDs attended the said event. They were given cash gifts- P500 each, food packs including hotdogs and T-shirts.

Governor Pineda said the Capitol will continue implementing more programs for the benefit of the PWDs such as the implementation of the Accessibility Law in the provincial government and provincial and district hospitals such as ramps, express lanes, and comfort rooms with handrails.

The governor said they will also strengthen the support for the provincial and regional meetings and forums of PWD leaders from the cities and municipalities of Pampanga.

Labung said under ordinance 648, the PWDs will be given equal opportunities to employment without discrimination; sheltered employment; apprenticeship; incentives for employers in the private sector; and vocational rehabilitation through trainings and vocational courses.

"The PWDs will also avail of access to quality education; scholarship grants; special education, vocational and technical training; non-formal education and inclusion of programs and services for PWD in State universities and colleges," he said.

Elizabeth Baybayan, provincial social welfare and development officer said PWDs will be given 20 percent discount in hotels and lodging establishments restaurants and recreation centers such as leisure and amusement, resorts, circuses, carnivals and cinemas.

"Free movie admission at SM Pampanga, SM City of San Fernando Downtown and Robinson Starmills Pampanga to bonafide PWD residents of Pampanga every second week of movie screening as per Ordinance No. 446," Baybayan added.

She said the PWDs will also be given a 20 percent discount in the purchase of medicines in all drugstores; medical and dental services including diagnostic and laboratory fees such as x-ray, computerized tomography scans, blood test in all government and private hospital facilities.

"Twenty percent discount on fare for domestic and sea travel; 20percent discount on public railways, skyways and bus and jeepney fares," Baybayan added. (Joel P. Mapiles/Pampanga PIO)

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