City sets up PDAO

Jason B. Neola

Responding to the call by the national government to establish an office that will oversee the welfare and promote the rights of persons with disability, the 10th Sangguniang Panlungsod passed last August 3 City Ordinance 2010-039, an ordinance creating the persons with disability affairs office (PDAO).

City Councilor Nathan Sergio said the ordinance is an enabling law of Republic Act 10070, an act that establishes an institutional mechanism to ensure implementation of programs and services for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and directs the setting up of PDAO in every province, city and municipality.

The law is an amendment to RA 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, which was signed by former President Arroyo on April 6, 2009.Sergio, who authored the ordinance, said the PDAO is under the Office of the City Mayor who shall appoint a PWD Affairs Officer who shall manage and oversee the operations of PDAO. The City Government of Naga inaugurated its own PDAO on July 21, this year. The office’s responsibilities include formulating and implementing policies, plans, and program that will promote the welfare of disabled persons; ensuring the implementation of the Accessibility Law; representing the sector in meetings of local development councils and other special bodies; and gathering relevant data on the disabled persons in their localities.

According to Sergio, the PDAO shall also disseminate information on programs and activities of disabled persons including training and employment opportunities; monitor fundraising programs and activities for the sector seek donation from local and foreign donors; and ensure that programs and policies for the promotion of the welfare of the sector are funded by both national and local government, among others.
RA 10070 also directs the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the National Council on Disability Affairs and relevant groups to review after three years the implementation of the law.

It also instructs the DWSD to ensure that annual budget is provided to fund programs and provide support for disabled persons.RA 10070 is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3560 that was passed by the Senate on January 18, 2009 and House Bill No. 1387 that was passed by the House of Representatives on January 26, 2009.Sergio said City Ordinance 2010-039 was co-authored by former City Councilor Lourdes V. Asence of the 9th Sanggunian. The proposed ordinance, however, was passed during the 10th Sanggunian Panlungsod when she is no longer a member.