A rookie solon is prodding the country's local government units (LGUs) to establish their very own Persons with Disability Affairs Offices (PDAOs) in accordance with Republic Act (RA) No.10070 or the amended Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
This, as Quezon City 5th district Rep. PM Vargas placed a spotlight on the absence of such offices despite the enactment of the particular magna carta way back in 2010.
"More than 12 years after the law was enacted, Filipino persons with disabilities remain vulnerable to marginalization with the absence of established PDAOs in many LGUs in the country,” Vargas stated in House Resolution (HR) No.209.
Filed last Aug. 10, HR No. 209 urges non-compliant LGUs to establish their respective PDAOs as provided for by law.
Out of the 81 provinces, 146 cities and 1,488 municipalities in the country, the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA) reported that only a total of 387 LGUs have established a PDAO as of June 2021.
Of the 387 LGUs, only 254 have designated focal persons that may function as PDAO in the absence of such and is particularly found in 4th to 7th class municipalities.
“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for Filipino persons with disabilities to avail of certain social services whereby local PDAOs could have alleviated these problems on accessibility,” Vargas said.
The resolution also noted the need for PDAO and its designated focal persons to actively monitor and update the data on persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the country to aid in the delivery of social services targeted to them.
“It’s been more than a decade of waiting; It’s high time we deliver the promise of better and more accessible social services to Filipino persons with disabilities and their families,” Vargas added.
During the previous 18th Congress, then-Quezon City 5th district Rep. Alfred Vargas, brother of incumbent Rep. Vargas, filed a similar resolution calling for LGUs' compliance with RA No.10070.