Disability Week puts Accessibility Law on the spotlight for PWDs
The Regional Committee on Disability Affairs-National Capital Region (NCR), in line with the celebration of the 33rd National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week (NDPR), conducted an orientation to people with disabilities (PWD) on LRT features and accessibility.
Held last July 20, the activity was part of the July 17-23 NDPR Week with the theme "Making the Rights Real for Filipinos with Disabilities".
With more than sixty PWDs from the different local government units in NCR in attendance, the orientation served as a venue where PWDs were reoriented about their rights to gain access to public areas like restrooms as well as public transports like buses, trains, the MRT as well as the LRT (Light Railway Transport).
Hosted by the LRT 2 in their Santolan Station Depot, the activity entitled "Orientation of PWDs on LRT Accessibility and Safety Features in Compliance to BP 344" is also a rehash of BP 344 or the Accessibility Law. The event's objectives were to create public awareness of the rights of PWDs to safe and convenient transport; to make PWDs familiar with MRT/LRT features; to enhance knowledge on the provisions of BP 344; and to strengthen involvement of government agencies, local government units, non-government organizations, the media, and PWDs addressing the needs and concerns of PWDs in Metro Manila.
"Partial compliance is non-compliance at all," according to Architect Jaime Silva, Committee Head on Accessibility of the United Architects of the Philippines, who discussed in whole Accessibility Law as a departure to non-handicapped environment for PWDs.
He said that it is a good thing that "the Philippines is one of the countries that have successfully promoted accessibility for PWDs."
Evelyn Paragas, Head of the Public Relations Office of LRT and John Buenaventura, Chief of Transport Operations, discussed the accessibility, safety, and security features of the LRT2 making it very PWD-friendly.
The latter part of the program gave way to disaster response as Office of Civil Defense Director Susan Cruz gave lessons on how to escape and respond to possible life-threatening situations come disasters like earthquakes.
The activity was also used as an opportunity to make the PWDs experience riding the LRT2 and showing the BP 344-compliant features that revolutionized the transport system in the country and the importance given to one of the marginalized sectors in our society.
The orientation is one of the many activities that took place during the NDPR Week celebration. The NDPR Week is spearheaded by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) with the cooperation of the various committees on disability affairs in the country as well as national and local government units, as well as non-government organizations in the country.