ACCESSIBILITY AUDIT. A staff member of the Provincial Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) assists a lady who is sight-impaired, during their audit of the ramp at Antique’s Capitol Building in April. PDAO assistant head Edison Sta. Romana said in an interview Thursday (Dec. 1, 2022) that they would hold a "Walk for Inclusion" on December 3 during the International Day of PWDs. (Photo courtesy of Antique PDAO)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Antique's persons with disability (PWDs) will hold a “Walk for Inclusion” as a way of asserting the recognition of their rights and privileges.

Provincial Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) assistant head Edison Sta. Romana, in an interview Thursday, said they would hold the event in celebration of the International Day of PWDs on December 3.

“We would like to convey to the society that there is really a need for them to include the PWDs into the mainstream and that there should no longer be discrimination or bullying,” Sta. Romana said.

“Every year, we have the audit of the government buildings and establishments in Antique in compliance with the Accessibility Law, but it is hardly realized.”

The Accessibility Law or Batas Pambansa 344 provides for ramps in buildings, toilets with handrails, and other basic needs of the PWDs.

On the aspect of education, the Department of Education now has scholarships provided to PWDs, as well as mainstreaming of PWD learners.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. provides free health services through the coverage of the Universal Healthcare Law while the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority extends skills training.

Local government units in Antique also provide livelihood assistance while the municipality of Belison gives PHP1,000 to every PWD in December for their start-up capital.

“There are still other aspects, like the provision of court interpreters, to the accused PWD in the justice system that is still needed,” Sta. Romana said.

He also said public transportation should have seats for PWDs. (PNA)