PWDs inspire Angara, Celso PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 14:12

Despite their physical handicaps, persons with disabilities (PWDs) yesterday showcased their multiple talents and impressed Mayor Celso Lobregat and Aurora Province Congressman Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on the opening of the 34th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.

The program, held at the City Coliseum in Tetuan and organized by the Regional Council on Disability Affairs (RCDA), featured songs and dances presented by various groups and individuals from the PWD sector.

Mayor Lobregat and Cong. Angara, who was personally invited by the chief executive to grace the PWD event, were overwhelmed by the remarkable talents shown by the participants. Rey Villafuerte, a blind pianist and singer wowed the two officials and the crowd when he sang    “Through the years” and “What a Wonderful World”.  Special education students also performed dance numbers that brought the house down.

Inspired by the show of talents from the PWDs, Mayor Lobregat and Cong. Angara also showed their prowess in singing and serenaded the participants with the song “Wonderful Tonight”, eliciting screams from the crowd.

“I am so happy to be here. I see many people maximizing their God-given gifts. Thank you for inspiring us in maximizing our talents”, the youthful Cong. Angara, who is the son of Senator Edgardo Angara said.

The enthusiasm of the PWD sector in participating such events manifests PWD empowerment in Zamboanga City, he said, stressing that the House of Representatives is also undertaking steps to ensure that all laws intended for the protection and welfare of persons with disabilities are implemented to the letter.

Mayor Lobregat for his part extolled the PWDs as “epitomes of strength and fortitude”

“Despite your challenges, you continue to show to the world that you are not a burden to the society. You are very capable of taking care of yourself and contributing to the community”, the mayor said in his message.

He stressed that this year’s observance of NDPRW promotes the full employment of persons with disabilities and supports initiatives for your economic development. “Regardless of your physical limitations, you are Filipinos and as such should enjoy the same rights and benefits as the rest of the population.”

The city government, he stressed, fully respects and promotes the rights of persons with disabilities, and proof of this is the establishment of the Persons with Disabilities Affairs (PDAU) at the City Social Welfare and Development Office by virtue of City Ordinance 354.

The PDAU, headed by physically challenged Teddy Kahil, is mandated to attend to matters and concerns involving PWDs in the city.

The opening program for NDPRW was also attended by Department of Labor and Employment Assistant Regional Director Virginia Bonbon, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Francisco Barredo, City Schools OIC Supt. Pete Natividad, secondary school principals, representatives from the Department of Health, Commission on Human Rights and other agencies that form part of the Regional Council on Disability Affairs.

Cong. Angara, who chairs the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, arrived in Zamboanga Monday to grace the conferment of the honorary degree, Doctor of Humanities upon Mayor Lobregat by the Western Mindanao State University and the investiture of Dr. Milabel Ho as 5th president of WMSU.

Before flying back to Manila yesterday afternoon, the young Angara visited the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) under President Dr. Milavel Nazario, where he was warmly welcomed with drum and lyre corps, dances and students lining the campus and the Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College under Dr. Nora Ponce, where he was also given a rousing welcome. 

Angara also graced the turnover of 4x4 pick up vehicles to 10 barangays by Mayor Lobregat in front of City Hall. — Sheila Covarrubias