BAGUIO CITY – Thousands of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the city will be joining their fellow PWDs in the different parts of the world in the annual celebration of the International Day of PWDs on Monday, December 3, 2018.
John Paredes, president of the Baguio City Federation of PWDs, said the annual worldwide celebration is geared towards empowering PWDS to continue playing an active role in the communities where they belong and for the public to understand the plight of PWDs wanting to contribute their individual and collective efforts in the society.
Parades narrated the annual celebration of the International Day of PWDs started in 1992 through the efforts of international organizations like the United Nations (UN), International Labor organization (ILO), World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) considering that the PWD sector was the last among the world’s marginalized sector that was given international recognition.
Among the activities that were lined up by the federation and the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) of the City Mayor’s Office for the upcoming celebration of the International Day of PWDs include a parade from Upper Session road, a simple but meaningful program, an exhibit at the city hall lobby, trainings on PWD sensitivity and the provision of services by the PWDs to the public.
“We believe that Baguio is one of the disabled friendly cities in the country although there are still numerous issues confronting the PWDs and the compliance of the private and public sectors to the welfare of PWDs that should be addressed not only by the local governments but also the national government through the concerned government agencies,” Paredes stressed.
He claimed that this year’s celebration of the International Day of PWDs in the city will be considered a milestone because of the putting in place of the local government of the required office that will oversee the welfare and the affairs of the PWD sector that had been long been marginalized in the city.
According to him, the federation and the PDAO are jointly working on the crafting of short- medium and long-term programs that will continue to uplift the status of the PWD sector in the city and for the PWDs to be recognized as part of the society where they are able to contribute in the growth and development of the communities where they belong.
Aside from the visually impaired groups, other PWD associations who will be joining this year’s celebration of the International Day of PWDs include the physically impaired persons and the hearing impaired ones who will be showcasing their skills and talents during the events lined up for their annual gathering.
Paredes urged the public to watch the parade of PWDs and patronize the products of different PWD groups that will be displayed at the city hall lobby that will allow them to have a sustainable source of livelihood ones people will learn to love their products.
He expressed the gratitude of the PWD sector to the local government headed by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan for the all-out support that it was able to extend to the PWD sector that eventually led to the institutionalization of the PWDAO.
By Dexter A. See