A forum on the rights of women with disabilities was held at the Ramon V. Mitra Conference Hall of the House of Representatives last 31 March 2014, with the theme “Isulong Pantay na Karapatan para kay Juanang may Kapansanan”.
Welcoming the participants was Hon. Erlinda M. Santiago of Sagip Partylist. She discussed the significance of Proclamation No. 744 citing that women with disabilities are partners in nation building as it gives them equal opportunities. It involves the citizens’ responsibilities towards the realization of women with disabilities in taking part of the role in some establishments like the malls, schools, government agencies etc.Disability is a matter of perception, she stressed a perception to live life and enjoy it.
Ms. Carmen R. Zubiaga, acting Executive Director of the National Council on Disability Affairs, presented to the participants the Ambassador for Women and Children with Disabilities in the person of Marian Rivera. Before calling Miss Rivera, Ma’am Carmen informed the forum of the need for the preparation and readiness to an inclusive education since only 2% of the Population of Persons with Disabilities are enrolled in public schools but few can graduate due to discrimination. To this, Miss Rivera stand up to assure the forum that she will do her best to help PWDs for she believed that PWDs are even more effective workers/employees than the abled persons.
For livelihood program, Dir. Ahmma Charisma Lorin-Satumba of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concern, gave an update on the IRR of RA 10524 and the salient features of DOLE “Kabuhayan” Program. She informed the forum that it is required, by law, that 1% of the total employment must comprise the whole organization of an establishment/agency. “Kabuhayan” program, duly integrated with DOLE, grants Php10,000.00 capital assistance in the form of raw materials and training. It also aids an existing business.There was also a film showing on the story of a woman with disability through Optic Media Board Chair Ronnie Rickets. He vowed to help in reducing airfare fee of advertisements for PWDs thru Ms. Lucy Santos.
On empowering women with disabilities through Human Rights Protection and Promotion, Mr. Rosero discussed the 2 characteristics of human rights. First is universal which states that human rights belong all to people regardless of sex, color, language, nationality, origin, age, color, religion and political beliefs. It is also indivisible which states that human rights should be enjoyed. The absence of one right negates the presence of the other. Mr. Ronnie N. Rosero is the OIC of the Assistance & Witness Protection Division of the Commission on Human Rights.
On the part of DSWD, Mrs, Pacita D. Sarino, Asst. Dir., Protective Services Bureau, discussed the auxiliary services for women with disabilities. She disclosed the different Republic Acts that will help and protect women with disabilities.
To close the program Congresswoman Emerenciana A. De Jesus of Gabriela Partylist reiterated the empowerment of women with disabilities for they should not be looked at to as handicapped but a person with compassion to everyone.
Simultaneously, a TESDA training on skills demonstration on solar night light is being undertaken at on the same hall.