The elderly and differently abled sectors of society must not be left behind as far as infrastructure projects next year are concerned, Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon Party-List Rep. Bernadette Herrera said Sunday.
“While there are several laws that promote accessibility to seniors and PWDs (persons with disabilities), this is seldom applied, making it difficult for this segment of society to access buildings and utilize various facilities and even public transport,” said Herrera, who is part of the House contingent to the bicameral conference committee on the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021.
The bicam meetings on the 2021 budget–the first to be crafted in this time of the COVID pandemic–began last week.
The lady congressman said she fully supports the suggestion of some senators to include a provision in the proposed General Appropriations Act (GAA) declaring that all infrastructure projects—from construction, to repair, and rehabilitation—must be senior citizen and PWD-friendly
The 21-strong House bicam contingent had earlier authorized its chairman, ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap, to hold a one-on-one meeting with his Senate counterpart, Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, to thresh out differences in the House and Senate versions of the budget bill.
“I will ask our chairman, Cong. Eric Yap, to make sure the provision ensuring infrastructure projects are accessible to seniors and PWDs be included in the 2021 GAA,” Herrera said. Yap sits as House Appropriations Committee chairman in the 18th Congress.
Herrera said the proposed provision would ensure adequate budget for facilities like ramps, handrails, tactile paving, toilets, and paved walkways, among others. She further said similar provisions on accessibility must also be incorporated for basic education facilities.