‘No to exclusion’: Aspiring senator pushes for better welfare for PWDs
MANILA, Philippines — An aspiring senator on Wednesday is pushing for more inclusion for persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Carmen Zubiaga, a disability, gender equality, and social inclusion consultant, filed a certificate of candidacy for a senatorial spot.
She said that she vows to give a voice to the 13 million PWDs across the country.
“Ang mga batas ay kinakailangan natin na maging inclusive at ito dapat ay tumutugon sa mga pangangailangan ng mga pamilya at mga taong may kapansanan,” Zubiaga raised.
(Our laws need to be inclusive and they should cater to the needs of families and those with disabilities.)
“Dahil alam natin ang kapansanan ay isa sa pinaka-malawak na sektor na hindi naiintindihan ng ating publiko. Gayundin, kailangan din natin na isipin ang kinabukasan ng mga kabataan na may kapansanan na hindi nakakaabot at hindi nakakatikim ng dekalidad na edukasyon,” she added.
(We know the PWDs is one sector that is not understood by the public. Likewise, we need to think of the future of the youth with disabilities who are do not get quality education.)
Zubiaga, a PWD herself, noted that there is a need for programs, laws, and policies that cater to PWDs.
“Tigilan na natin ang pagpopokus sa kawanggawa. Kailangan natin hindi awa, kundi pag-unawa at pag-intindi sa kanilang kalagayan ng bawat may kapansanan,” the aspirant said.
(Let’s stop focusing on charity. We do not need mercy, but understanding of the condition of each PWD.)
She likewise noted that PWDs are untapped resources.
According to Zubiaga, there is no need for PWDs to be excluded, saying there should be a responsive early intervention.
“Sana ang ating early intervention and childhood education ay maging responsive sa pangangailangan ng makabagong panahon,” she said.
(I hope our early intervention and childhood education would be responsive to the needs of the changing times.)
“Hindi kailangan na sila ay ihiwalay o i-exclude. No to exclusion. Hindi natin sila kailangang ihiwalay. At kapag ang kapansanan ay ating tinugunan, ang ating pagtanda ay magiging isang magandang karanasan dahil ang lahat ng pasilidad ay magiging maayos para sa atin,” Zubiaga further uttered.
(We do not need to exclude them. No to exclusion. When the disability is addressed, growing would be a good experience because the facilities would be better.)
Zubiaga shared that her goal is to prepare a community that cares for each PWD.
“Kaya ang paghahanda ng isang lugar o lipunan na nangangalaga at nagmamahal sa bawat may kapansanan ang aking layunin,” she mentioned.
(Preparing a place or community that is caring and loving to each PWD is my goal.)
“Kapag tinugunan natin ang kahirapan ng may kapansanan, maututugunan din natin ang kahirapan ng karaniwang mamamayan dahil ang kahirapan ay sanhi rin ng kapansanan,” Zubiaga added.
(When we address the struggles of PWDs, we will also address the challenges of ordinary citizens because difficulties are the cause of disabilities.)
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