PWD Philippines Launches Website at www.PWDPhil.com



"People look at disability as a heavy burden but it's the environment that makes a person disabled." - National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) Director Carmen Zubiaga

I heard that statement during the launch of www.PWDPhil.com at Melo's Alabang and totally agree with Ma'am Carmen. There are so many people who still look at individuals with disabilities as a burden to their families and to the society. That is not true. 


I have a son with special needs and we consider him a blessing. He is one of the reasons why our family continues to stay strong as a unit all these years. He inspires his dad and me to be better parents every day. Helping attend to James' needs has also taught his brothers to be responsible and caring young men. His story has, and continues, to encourage other people. 

According to Ma'am Carmen, if we erase the negative notions about people with disabilities, then more would probably understand better that the disabled are also entitled to privileges. She illustrated, "Disability is just part of a person. It is not a hindrance for [him/her] to share and contribute to make a better world." Again, I believe in the truth of those words. 

NCDA Director Carmen Zubiaga
The PWD Philippines website aims to create online awareness about the plight of People With Disabilities. Arpee Lazaro, one of the founders, explained that they also plan to institutionalize their efforts; raise funds or request for funding from NGOs and other interested parties; and build a shelter/training center for PWDs in the near future. 

It's sad that there are still many Filipinos who are unaware of the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons or RA 7277. For instance, if you are a company owner, did you also know that there is a law that says 1% of employment in government and private companies should be allocated for qualified PWDs or that you can have tax rebates of 25% if you make improvements in your infrastructure to make your work place conducive for PWDs? 

PWDPhil.com founders
When I buy my son's milk and diapers in the supermarket, many employees still have to consult somebody else when presented with the PWD ID and booklet! They are also inconsistent when it comes to identifying which commodities are covered by the discount allotted to PWDs. It's quite frustrating, I tell you! You can read more about RA 7277 here.

Aside from Arpee (technical writer and documentation specialist), other people behind the PWDPhil website are PeeWee Kapunan (a PWD who co-founded the Cerebral Palsied Association of the Philippines), Kcat Yarza (another PWD who is a graphic artist and writer), Azrael Coladilla (blogger and events organizer), and Russel Patalinhog (a new media/social media strategist). 

PWD Philippines founders and event attendees
"We need to help PWDs who can not afford to reach their dreams," urged Ma'am Carmen. "Let's teach compassion and sharing via social media to help build dreams."

The launch of www.PWDPhil.com is a good start towards those lofty goals. Let's help them, shall we? You can start by liking their Facebook page to keep updated on this advocacy and please always remember that any person, regardless of ability or disability, deserves to be treated equally ― with the same dignity and respect.


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