The UP Center for Local and Regional Governance (CLRG) presented its latest findings and recommendations on the implementation of Republic Act 10070 (Institutional Mechanisms for the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons) by selected local government units (LGUs) in a policy forum held on June 19 at the Sequoia Hotel in Diliman, Quezon City.
Members of the research team presented lessons gained from the best practices of LGUs in: Carmona, Cavite; San Lorenzo Ruiz, Camarines Norte; Camarines Norte Province; Iloilo Province; Angeles City; Mandaluyong City; and, Valenzuela City. Representatives from organizations of persons with disabilities (PWDs), national government agencies, policy makers, and other stakeholders also shared their assessments in the forum.
According to the researchers, PWDs in the Philippines still have limited access to health services, employment opportunities, education, and other basic necessities. Taking off from the creation of the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) through RA 10070 of 2010 to address PWDs distinct needs, the researchers reported that only about 60% of LGUs were compliant and that there was low awareness among local legislators of the requirements of RA 10070. They cited limitations in LGU personnel, challenges in the recruitment of qualified PWDs, and non-prioritization as some of the reasons for non-compliance.
Dr. Erwin Gaspar Alampay, UP professor and director of CLRG NCPAG, summarized their team’s findings and recommendations. He also explained the methodology and limitations of the study.
Among the top recommendations given were: to strengthen the monitoring of PDAO implementation and to incentivize compliance with RA 10070; to standardize data reporting of PWD information that can be linked to a national PWD registry; and, to clearly establish PWD representation and participation in LGUs.
Ms. Carmen Reyes-Zubiaga, executive director of the National Council on Disability Affairs, provided a recap of the PWD sector’s campaigns in line with RA 10070 and her assessment of and recommendations for the research project. She reiterated the importance of having a PDAO. She said all LGUs should help improve PWDs’ access to health services, employment opportunities, education, and other basic needs.
This study was supported through the Coalitions for Change program of the Australian Embassy and The Asia Foundation (TAF). The CLRG is UP’s research, training and consulting center for local governments; and it is a constituent unit of the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG). (Fred Dabu, UP MPRO)