Cavite Provincial Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PPDAO), in partnership with the Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCPC), facilitated a Planning Workshop for the Promotion of Accessibility towards Inclusive Development of Children and Youth with Disabilities at the Auditorium of Cavite Collaboration Center for Public Health, GEAMH Compound, Trece Martires City on November 21, 2022. The program aimed to formulate a SMART plan of action or mechanism for the implementation and monitoring of Batas Pambansa 344 or the Act to Enhance the Mobility of Disabled Persons by Requiring Certain Buildings, Institutions, Establishments and Public Utilities to Install Facilities and Other Devices, to be adopted in the province.
During the preliminaries, Ms. Beverly O. Alvaran, Executive Assistant of Board Member Romel Enriquez, led the prayer. Ms. Arlene V. Clemente, Social Welfare Assistant of PPDAO, facilitated an interactive introduction of attendees with sign language response of the phrase “Hi, good morning”.
Ms. Felipa G. Servañez Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer and Secretariat of PCPC, greeted everyone warmly and stated that while having a disability is difficult, it does not prevent PWDs from moving forward. She added that the activity serves as a forum for discussing the accessibility law and what can be done to help persons with disabilities.
Mr. Alvin S. Mojica, Provincial Administrator for Community Affairs, stated that the program is necessary, with hopes that stakeholders will continue to join and support the provincial government’s programs and projects, particularly those centered on PWDs.
Afterwards, Mr. Julius Franz Dijan, LGOO II of DILG-Cavite, delivered a message on behalf of Provincial Director Lionel Dalope, saying that their agency will continue to support the various programs and activities for the PWD sector assuring assistance in the thorough checking of establishments and other structures or mechanisms of local governments so that Cavite will always be PWD-friendly.
Ms. Marie Shiela Haloc, Disability Affairs Officer IV of PPDAO, laid the overview of the program. Then, Arch. Don G. De Vera of the United Architects of the Philippines discussed the BP 344 more commonly known as the accessibility law, which the attendees found useful in conducting access audits.
Following the discussion, the attendees were divided into two groups, one led by Arch. Allen Brent Fortunado of the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and the other, by Engr. Jasmin C. Del Mundo of the Department Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Each group went to their assigned location and examined accessibility for PWD in various areas of GEAMH and KPFH, including the ramp, toilet, signage, parking, and threshold, with members acting blind and wheelchair-bound. Thereafter, findings, suggestions and recommendations were shared in a consultative dialogue.
Ms. Marie Shiela Haloc concluded the program by thanking everyone who took part in the event for making it possible. They anticipate that the advocacy will be the start of more interventions in various areas and concerns of the disability sector.
The highlight of the event was the Panata ng Tagapagtaguyod ng Karapatan ng Maykapansanan, which attendees signed to show their support to the PWD sector.
Also present during the event were Hon. Romel Enriquez, 1st District Board member and Committee Chairperson on Social Services, Family, Women, Children and Elderly and Ms. Elinia Imelda Rozelle Sangalang, Department Head of Provincial Tourism, Culture and the Arts Office.