ARMM celebrates 38th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Bureau of Public Information)

COTABATO CITY - The Regional Human Rights Commission in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RHRC-ARMM) marked the celebration of the 38th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.

Atty. Abdulnasser Badrudin, RHRC-ARMM chairperson, said the program was primarily aimed at raising better awareness of the rights of persons with disability (PWDS).

“We are showing our deepest concern to PWDS being one of the most vulnerable sectors of society,” Badrudin said. Discrimination against PWDS results in their low participation in economic and social activities in society, he added.

Republic Act 7277, or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, defined PWDS as “those suffering from restriction of different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.”

The National Statistics Office’s 2010 Census of Population and Housing noted there are 34,775 PWDS in the ARMM, 17,875 of which are male, and 16,900 are female. “The RHRCARMM advocates the inclusion of PWDS (normal activities of society). We aim at creating a condition wherein PWDS will feel they belong, are respected, and valued whoever they are,” Badrudin added.

The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons also mandates that “five percent of all casual, emergency and contractual positions at the departments of Social Welfare and Development; Health; Education, Culture and Sports; and other government agencies, offices or corporations engaged in social development shall be reserved for disabled persons.”

Several humanitarian partners and government offices that advocate for the welfare of PWDS also took part in last Thursday’s program.

Assistant Secretary Dayang Carlsum Jumaide of ARMM’S Department of Health said the region’s Health and Wellness Program for Persons with Disabilities is designed to promote the highest attainable standards of health of PWDS and prevent them from developing health conditions associated with disability.

One of its milestones, Jumaide added, is “the development of service packages for PWDS specifically for disability due to chronic illnesses, learning disability and cerebral palsy.”

Miguel Antonio Limon, regional programs coordinator of the National Council on Disability Affairs, gave a lecture on Thursday on government laws that promote the rights of PWDS. Across the country, there are 1.4 million PWDS comprising 1.57% of the total population based on the 2010 national census.

Several private individuals, who declined to be named, donated wheelchairs for PWDS during the event. They also manifested continued support for PWDS. The celebration last week had the theme “Karapatan ng Maykapansanan, Isakatuparan... Now Na.”

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