By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Tuesday, June 30 that starting this year, it has earmarked an annual budget of P100,000 for each of its field offices to provide assistive devices to persons with disability (PWD) in the country.
Even while preoccupied with the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) cash subsidies, the DSWD expressed its commitment to implement programs and provide services to the country’s vulnerable sectors, especially the PWDs.
“The person with disability sector is among the most affected by the declaration of community quarantine brought about by the spread of COVID-19 in the country. To help them regain and develop their self and social enhancement, the DSWD, through its Field Offices will provide augmentation support for the assistive devices of blind and low vision, deaf or hearing impaired, and orthopedically and physically challenged individuals,” it said in a statement.
Among the assistive devices to be given to the PWDs are the following: talking laptops and tablets, talking canes and smart canes, and Braille system for the blind and visually impaired; hearing aids with beam forming technology, customized headphones, and cochlear implant for deaf and hearing impaired; motorized wheelchair, customized wheelchair, tri-wheelchair bike, talking watch, customized artificial eyes, and neuro-prosthesis for the orthopedically and physically challenged.
“Persons with disability may request for augmentation support to their assistive devices through the focal person on Persons with Disability Welfare Program and Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) at the Crisis Intervention Units (CIUs) of the DSWD Field Offices,” the DSWD said.
It said given the current situation, the PWDs can send their representatives to apply and claim for assistance at the concerned DSWD-Field Offices which have jurisdiction over their areas.
The PWDs who are living in the provinces can also wait for the visit of the Social Welfare Action Development (SWAD) teams who are being mobilized to accept their applications and send them to the Field Offices for processing.
Before availing themselves of the assistive devices, the PWDs are advised to submit the following documents: medical certificate indicating the disability with date issued, full name and signed by attending physician which will be valid for three months, request for assistive devices and quotation showing the amount of the assistive device, Barangay Indigency Certificate of the person with disability or client, and one vaild ID.
“The Department hopes that through these assistive devices, the persons with disability will continue to be productive and contributing members of society, despite their disability, in these critical times,” the DSWD said.