The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Southern Leyte field office has installed an elevator in their new building in an effort to address the accessibility concerns of persons with disabilities (PWD).
“I am happy that we are able to upgrade our facility here. We need to accommodate those differently-abled persons and stakeholders and integrate them into the mainstream society,” said District Engineer Ma. Margarita Junia citing laws requiring government agencies and private institutions to install facilities for PWDs.
She added, their office is now compliant with the laws such as Batas Pambansa 344 (BP344) also known as the “Accessibility Law” and Republic Act No. 7277 (R.A. 7277) or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.
The Accessibility Law seeks “to enhance the mobility of disabled persons by requiring certain buildings, institutions, establishments, and public utilities to install facilities.”
Also, section 25 of R.A. 7277 provides that “the state shall ensure the attainment of a barrier-free environment that will enable disabled persons to have access in public and private buildings and such as other places mentioned” in the Accessibility Law enacted in 1983.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), results of the 2010 census show that of the 92.1 million household population in the country, 1.57 percent or some 1.4 million persons had disability.
“With the increasing number of PWDs in the country, we should also give them equal benefits and privileges. We need to empower them and eliminate discrimination against those persons with disabilities,” Junia said.