PWD abuses, discrimination still a problem in Zambo — CHR PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 July 2016 11:33

By DOMINIC I. SANCHEZ

 

Verbal abuse, discounts not being honored, no priority lanes in service centers and refusal to be employed – these are among the many forms of discrimination that persons with disabilities (PWDs) experience until now.

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) information officer Daniel Paculanang shared that such discrimination is still being experienced by local PWDs.

“We have been receiving such reports from the PWD sector like discounts not being honored in pharmacies, and even verbal abuse and discrimination,” Paculanan said on Thursday (July 14).

“We encourage them to report such incidents to us,” he added. The CHR is one of the member-agencies of the Regional Committee on Disability Affairs (RCDA) which is chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The group’s sole function is to monitor compliance to PWD laws, from either government or private sector.

Paculanang said that the PWD complainant must go to the CHR, and the cases will be assessed to determine of his or her right was violated. If it is, the case will be forwarded to the investigation section, where a CHR lawyer will assist the complainant and provide free legal services. Cases can also be brought to the attention of the PWD Affairs Office (PDAO) under the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).

According to CHR lawyer Arbee Arquiza, a PWD is legally defined as a person whose physical and mental functions are limited.

Atty. Arquiza shared that aside from private companies, there are even government offices who do not comply with the Building Code, which stresses accessibility for PWDs.

The whole country will be celebrating the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week from July 17-23. Part of the celebration is an re-orientation for local PWDs about their rights and privileges. (DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)