Travel allowances" may
start PWD empowerment
TAGBILARAN CITY, March 31 (PIA)--There is a vicious cycle of failing to sustainably organize persons with disabilities (PWDs) leading to their lack of empowerment and then their misplaced funds that could effectively empower them, that organizing chapters of PWDs in towns almost always comes out a failure.
On the occasion of the 13th Women with Disabilities Day Celebration, March 28, Bohol Federation vice president of Disabled Persons (BFDP) Angelita Jumamil has felt the need for government authorities at local government units to take a second hard look at their efforts to help women with disabilities.
Faced with an even more daunting task of finding out and accounting all PWDs in Bohol, Jumamil and the BFDP has gone to different means to spread the word about the need for PWDS to be known and listed.
At the Kapihan sa PIA which they BFDP sees as another of these crucial steps to reach out to those still lurking in dark rooms and hidden by embarrassed family members, PWDs can only be sustainably assisted through institutional help from government and interest groups.
Jumamil, who has been among the elder members of the BFDP getting to the towns to organize local chapters of PWDs and women PWDs said the same problems recur: after the initial organizing efforts, the chapters just face their biggest setback.
The setbacks, PWD admit is the difficulty of PWDS in the towns to consistently attend their activities for lack of transportation support.
Many PWDS show at initial organizational meetings with the LGUS help, but on the succeeding events, fewer and fewer PWDs are attending, due to mobility issues and difficulty in paying for their transportation. This leads to chapters becoming inactive, Jumamil said.
When PWDs move, they would need help from relatives as guides, or transportation, and they could hardly find the fares, she pointed out.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in joint circular 2003-001 clarified the implementing guidelines of Section 29 of the General Appropriations Act.
The section mandates the setting aside of 1% of the government agency budget for programs, projects and activities related to senior citizens and the disabled.
Here, Jumamil says while many local government units have programs and projects intended for PWDs, these do not necessarily respond to their most immediate need.
Jumamil, and the BFPD members think making the organization of persons needing the help sustainable will empower PWDs to work out their solutions to their issues.
In lieu LGU drafted programs and plans for disabled persons, animators think a realistic plan made by PWDs themselves may help better.
But that entails PWDs organizing and working out their solutions, one that can be achieved if the LGUs can apportion funds for transportation allowances of PWDs, BFDP said.
By that, Jumamil and the BFDP organizers believe it sets up a mechanism for encouraging PWDS to come out and get the training they would need to allow them the chance to help in nation building. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
Getting part of the 1% budget for PWD programs and projects for travel allowances to PWDs may help them sustain their chapter organizations, said Angelita Jumamil, PWD organizer who has started reorganizing chapters in 6 towns in Bohol (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)