PWDs EMPOWERMENT. Vice presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte meets a group of persons with disabilities in Escopa, Quezon City on Sunday (April 10, 2022). Duterte promised PWDs empowerment by providing them more jobs and livelihood trainings. (Photo courtesy of HNP Facebook page)

MANILA – Vice presidential aspirant Sara Duterte on Sunday vowed to replicate Davao City programs for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) by providing them more jobs and livelihood trainings.

During her visit to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) compound in Escopa, Quezon City for a “meet and greet” with the PWDs of the Quezon City’s Third District, she reiterated how the PWDs in Davao City were given priority in terms of business and livelihood.

She said the City Government of Davao prioritizes the provision of their personally managed offices that will promptly cater to fellow PWDs’ needs.

“Sa Davao City, gusto nila (PWDs) meron silang autonomy sa pagpapatakbo ng opisina. Kaya ‘yun po ang tinatrabaho namin na hindi na po sila naka-attach sa aming (In Davao City, PWDs want to have autonomy in running the office. So that’s what we have been working on that they should be attached in our) City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO),” Mayor Sara said, adding that the Davao City Hall employs a considerable number of PWDs.

“Ang ginagawa namin ngayon ay maging stand-alone office sila at sila mismo, ang aming mga officers at kasama ang mga empleyado sa City Government of Davao na assigned sa opisina nila, sila ang mag decide kung ano ang mga polisiya at projects para sa kanilang sector (We are trying to make them a stand-alone office, our offices along with employees of City Government of Davao assigned in their offices, they will decide on what policies and projects for their sector),” she added.

Among the attendees in Sunday’s event is Daisy Lumalang, 54, an orthopedic impaired since she was 2 years old, said she is thankful to Duterte for being passionate in serving the underprivileged, especially the PWD sector.

“Malaki po ang pasasalamat naming mga PWD na bumisita si Mayor Sara dito dahil alam namin na tunay ang kanyang malasakit sa lahat -- lalong lalo na sa aming mga may kapansanan (We are very thankful that Mayor Sara for visiting us because we know she has compassion for everyone, especially to us with disabilities),” Lumalang said.

She added: “Marami nang mga PWDs na natulungan si Mayor Sara sa Davao City. Ibig sabihin, magagawa niya rin niya ito sa buong Pilipinas. Malakas po ang panalangin ko na mananalo siya (Mayor Sara already helped a lot of PWDs. Meaning, she can also do it throughout the country. I’m have strong faith that she will win),” she added.

Duterte highlighted the importance of business security in different sectors stating that it is the “key to financial stability.”

“Ang unang direksyon namin sa lahat ng sektor sa Davao ay ang pagnenegosyo dahil ‘yun ang pinakamabilis na natutunan ng tao at mabilis na pagpasok ng pera sa kanilang mga bahay at mga pamilya. Nagbibigay din kami ng opportunities dahil ang iba ay trabaho ang gusto at hindi pagnenegosyo (Our first directive for every sector in Davao was to provide livelihood because that the easiest to learn and to earn profit. We also give employment opportunities for those want to work and not business),” Duterte said.

Republic Act 7277 or Magna Carta for Disabled Persons is “an act providing for the rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance of the disabled person and their integration into the mainstream of society and for other purposes” that was signed into law in 1992.

The implementation of RA 7277, she said, should be strengthened to ensure empowerment assistance for all PWDs in the country. (PR)