MARKING its 39th year, the national celebration of disability prevention and rehabilitation in Cagayan de Oro is calling for more persons with disabilities (PWDs) to stop hiding and reach out so that concerned authorities can better provide them with services.
With the theme, “Karapatan at Pribilehiyo ng May Kapansanan, Isakatuparan at Ipaglaban,” the Cagayan de Oro Federation of Persons with Disability in cooperation with the Cagayan de Oro Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) gathered about a thousand PWDs from the whole city to the program.
The program is aimed at putting more focus on the special needs of PWDs and how the local government unit and other concerned entities can provide them. To achieve this, the Cagayan de Oro Federation of PWD and PDAO aims to achieve a more concrete date on the number of PWDs in the city.
"That is why we are asking the PWDs here to come out and not be afraid to show themselves to the world. Because if you only hide in your house all day, how will you be able to communicate what you need? And how will people be able to help you out and provide you with what you want?" said Maria Liza Corpuz, the president of the Cagayan de Oro Federation of PWD.
Various groups of people with disabilities came to the celebration including organizations for the blind, deaf, physically disabled, mentally impaired, and others. However, Corpuz believed that there are still so many PWDs that they have to tap and list.
"As of now, there are only 3000 listed PWDs in the city. And if, as the statistics say that in every population ten percent is composed of PWDs and if the population of Cagayan is at 700,000 then we should have at least 70,000 PWDs listed," she said.
By having more PWDs registered, Corpuz said she believes that PDAO and the Cagayan de Oro Federation of PWD will be able to know what further services could they tap so that the living of the PWDs here in the city will be made easier.
"From there we can address what they need because the date will always tell us the next thing to do," she said.
For the past year, Corpuz said that the series of livelihood programs that were given by the local government unit has been very beneficial to the PWDs in the city.
Teddy Sabuga-a of the City Social Welfare and Development said that a P72-million fund is allotted this year for more programs that are centered on the needs of PWDs.
"The City Government has so far been supportive of the needs of the PWDs here in the city. What we just have to do is to show themselves and tell us what they need," she added.