Amendments on PDAO measure sought

BAGUIO CITY – Participants of the public consultation on Persons With Disabilities Assessment of Legislative Actions/ Legislations are requesting the city council to amend several provisions of ordinance number 40, series of 2015, that establishes a Persons With Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) in the city pursuant to Republic Act 10070 or an Act Establishing an Institutional Mechanism to Ensure the Implementation of Programs and Services for Persons with Disabilities in Every Province, City and Municipality.

They are suggesting that more personnel be assigned to the PDAO than the three provided by the ordinance who will cater to the city’s 128 barangays.

Among the issues raised were the requirement of a civil service eligibility on PDAO personnel when their term of office is co-terminus with the appointing authority and whether these are plantilla positions.

Annabelle Camacho of the Department of Interior and Local Government who lectured on the guidelines in the establishment of a PDAO office explained that they are plantilla positions but that the national law is silent on whether PDAO personnel are co-terminus or not.

She said, however, that the ordinance provides that they are co-terminus with the appointing authority that is why she is suggesting that this issue be raised with the local legislature .

Participants also claimed that they will be hard up in looking for qualified personnel due to the experience requirements of the three positions created for the purpose of the measure.

The ordinance provides that the PDAO will be under the City Mayor’s Office with the following functions: Formulate and implement policies, plans, and programs for the promotion of the welfare of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Baguio in coordination with national and local agencies; coordinate the local implementation of the provisions of RA 10070 and other related laws and represent PWDs in the local development council and other special bodies.

It shall also gather and compile data on the city’s PWDs, training and employment opportunities, and disseminate information of programs and activities; ensure that policies, plans, programs and services for the promotion of PWDs welfare are funded and submit a quarterly report to the City Mayor’s Office and city council on their implementation.

The PDAO shall recommend and enjoin the participation of non-governmental and peoples organizations in the implementation of disability laws and issuances; monitor fund-raising activities conducted for the benefit of PWDs and seek donations from local or foreign sources to implement approved work plans and perform such other functions as may be necessary for the promotion, protection and welfare of PWDs in the city.

The public consultation was spearheaded by the office of councilor Arthur Allad-iw, chair of the city council’s committee on PWDs, employment, livelihood and cooperatives.

By: Gaby Keith

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