After senior citizens, PWDs get free entry to QC mall cinemas
Following the grant of free movie admission for senior citizens, the same perk has been extended to persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Quezon City, under a recently signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Mayor Herbert Bautista and the management of major shopping malls.
PWDs can now watch two movies on Mondays and Tuesdays until 5 p.m. at SM cinemas, Robinsons, Trinoma, Fisher Mall and Ali Mall, among other major malls located in Quezon City.
The privilege, however, does not cover Imax theaters and 3D screenings and is also not valid on nonworking public holidays. Free admission to movies classified as blockbusters may be availed of a week after initial screening.
The agreement stemmed from a 2014 resolution introduced by Councilor Jessica Castelo Daza urging cinema operators to also grant free admission to PWDs. The benefit was first given to senior citizens through a city council resolution in 2009.
Bautista, who signed the MOU last week, also recently approved an ordinance directing city-owned establishments and offices to allot a parking space exclusively for PWDs and senior citizens.
In a related development, an organization of call-center employees has called on the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) to urge local government units (LGUs) to establish a friendlier working environment for PWDs.
Required by law
In a recent letter to NCDA executive director Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga, Call Center Philippines president Immanuel Balingit asked the agency to coordinate with LGUs with a growing business process outsourcing (BPO) industry to create workplaces that address the needs of PWDs.
Balingit cited the need for unobstructed sidewalks, railings, wheelchair-accessible entrances, 1.2-meter wide ramps, and PWD exits and bathrooms in BPO office buildings. These measures, he said, are in line with the implementation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 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.
Among the areas identified by the group to have the most number of BPO offices are Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Bacolod, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Clark, Dagupan, Davao, Tacloban, Dumaguete, Lipa, Iloilo, Naga, Iriga, Iligan, Olongapo and Urdaneta.
As the BPO industry in the country continues to grow—it is expected to make $25 billion next year—Balingit said they hope their initiative would encourage more PWDs to look at call centers as “opportunities to work for standard salaries that are often deprived of them.” Erika Sauler and Jovic Yee
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