Inclusive opportunities for deaf community needed — De Lima
MANILA, Philippines — There is a need to raise public awareness in preventing and rehabilitating deafness and in creating inclusive opportunities for the deaf community, opposition Sen. Leila de Lima said Sunday.
De Lima renewed her call for the swift passage of her Senate Bill (SB) No. 188 which seeks to ensure that persons with disabilities (PWDs), including the deaf, are given easy access to basic needs, through the creation of the National Commission for Disability Affairs (NCDA).
She made the call at the start of the National Deaf Awareness Week observed from Nov. 10 to 16, by virtue of Proclamation No. 829 signed by then-President Corazon Aquino on Nov. 8, 1991.
De Lima said in the NCDA would bridge the gaps in promoting the rights of PWDs and their families.
“It will ensure that PWDs, including the deaf community, have access to their basic needs, including healthcare, education, employment, and other necessary interventions,” the chair of the Senate committee on social justice, welfare, and rural development said in a statement.
In highlighting their susceptibility to abuses, De Lima cited the case of a deaf couple, identified as Robelyn and Emmanuel, who were discriminated against when they were barred from entering a mall by a security guard last year.
“We should take it upon ourselves to make their voices heard, their rights upheld, and their welfare safeguarded. To empower our deaf Filipinos is a move towards a just society and genuine national development,” she said.
Aside from SB 188, the lawmaker also authored Senate Bill No. 855 which seeks to establish institutional and social mechanisms to support persons with developmental disabilities and their families and filed Senate Resolution No. 534 seeking to conduct an inquiry on the status of the Accessibility Law and the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. /je
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