LGU-Bayambang scores another first on the occasion of the 40th National Disabilities Prevention and Rehabilitation Week on August 1, 2018 with the awarding of wheelchairs and other assistive devices plus medical-dental services and other surprise treats to the town’s persons with disabilities (PWDs) at the Balon Bayambang Events Center.
The program, originally scheduled on July 19, was postponed twice due to the bad weather. But the LGU is keen on giving PWDs the help and attention they deserve, so the event finally pushed through and the outcome was even better than expected, with participants enjoying a whole day filled with meaningful activities on top of the freebies.
“I believe that this is the first time that we are going to do something this big for our PWDs,” Municipal Administrator Atty. Rodelynn Rajini A. Sagarino-Vidad said. “This is our way of saying na mahalaga po kayo sa LGU-Bayambang,” she continued.
Region 1 and Pangasinan PWD Federation President David P. Bulario shared his experience as a person who was born with an apparent disability and encouraged the participants to not let their disability hinder them from living a normal life and being successful. “Hindi po sagabal ang ating kapansanan tungo sa ikauunlad ng ating buhay,” he said. Bulario also explained the different rights of PWDs.
Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Lerma Padagas discussed the contents of the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. “Ang batas natin na Republic Act 7277 ang nagbibigay ng karapatan o privilege sa mga may kapansanan,” Padagas explained. “Ito yung batas na magbibigay sa atin ng kalakasan para makatayo po tayo sa ating sarili,” she added.
Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao encouraged the participants to create an organization for faster and easier communication with the LGU regarding their needs. “Huwag na huwag tayong mawalan ng pag-asa. Nandito po ang munisipyo na tutulong sa inyo,” Mayor Quiambao stated. “Sana this project will start a series of similar initiatives in the future,” he added, as he encouraged blind children to go to the SPED classroom in Buayaen where he donated a computer for blind people.
Councilor Benjamin Francisco de Vera likewise assured the PWDs that the assistance of the Quiambao-Sabangan administration would always reach them.
True enough, wheelchairs and assistive devices were awarded during the event to those suffering from immobilization to help them move more easily. 50 adult wheelchairs, 20 adult walkers, 19 crutches, 10 pediatric walkers, 10 canes, 10 quad canes, and 4 pediatric wheelchairs were given to indigent PWDs. Aside from those, participants were treated to free medical and dental services, massage, and haircut, among other services. There were also dedicated booths where Community Service Cards and PWD IDs were issued, and the Commission on Election was there to give the participants a chance to register and vote.
“Starting today, we are changing what PWD means. It’s no longer persons with disability, but persons with dreams, persons with determination,” Atty. Sagarino-Vidad stated.
Atty. Sagarino-Vidad, who is also the Chairperson of the Bayambang Poverty Reduction Action Team (BPRAT), announced that there are many more activities lined up in the future, including the creation of a PWD Affairs Office, to cater to the needs of the members of the sector.
The event, which became possible through the joint effort of the BPRAT and the MSWDO and the help of the Rural Health Units, Public Order and Safety Office, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, COMELEC, Office of the Local Civil Registrar, Municipal Nutrition Action Office and the different offices and departments, is just one proof that the LGU aims to create an inclusive society where no member of the community feels left out.